Space heaters & pride

Sometimes I make sense of things in my life by applying analogies.

Example: I think of pride like a space heater.

And ever since I was little, I have had a healthy fear of space heaters. I was always nervous something would catch fire. Unfortunately, I didn’t develop the same healthy fear of pride until later in life. And now, as an adult, I am realizing that the majority of rules that apply to space heaters, also apply to pride.

I’ll explain.

First, for this analogy to resonate, think of pride as the space heater. Because if we’re honest, much like a space heater, pride is dangerous because of its ability to provide warmth.

Next, apply the rules of space heater (pride) to you as an individual:

  • Before using pride, read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels carefully. 
    • Let me first clarify by saying being proud of something is 100% OK. Being proud of something or someone isn’t dangerous. Much like using a space heater properly isn’t dangerous. In fact, being proud can be thought of as self-respect. But if misused, being proud can quickly morph into invasive pride. Just like if misused, space heaters can quickly become a fire hazard.
  • Inspect pride before each use. If frayed, worn, or damaged, do not use.
    • Examine the source of your pride. Is your pride coming from a place of self-respect? Or is it coming from a place of entitlement, superiority, or vanity? If its the latter, its the same as using a space heater that is frayed, worn, or damaged. You’re asking for trouble.
  • Never leave pride unattended.
    • Of all the rules that one can draw similarities between, this one jumps out at me because of its simple truth. Pay attention to your pride before it causes harm.
  • Proper placement of pride is critical. Pride must be kept at least three feet away from anything that can burn.
    • Keep a safe distance from pride. And be especially mindful of the certain aspects of your personality that are more flammable than others.
  • Locate pride outside of high traffic areas where they may pose a hazard.
    • Pride (usually) doesn’t find us when we’re at home with unbrushed teeth in our sweat pants. Instead, it often finds us when we’re around others. In high traffic areas where we’re hustling, comparing, criticizing, and climbing the proverbial ladder. And just like space heaters, this is where pride is hazardous.
  • Do not use an extension cord or power strip with pride for danger of overheating and fire.
    • Don’t use people or things to amplify your pride. Pride is dangerous enough when plugged into its organic power source (you), don’t increase the odds of a fire by using people or things to turn up the heat.
  • Place pride on flat and level surfaces.
    • Again, being proud isn’t dangerous. Place pride on a flat and level surface of self-respect, and it is a useful, heart-warming, hope-bringing emotion. But place pride on an elevated or uneven surface, the chances for misuse increase.
  • Always unplug and safely store pride when not in use.
    • There is a time and a place for being proud. But when you aren’t practicing self-respect, unplug pride from its power source and store it away safely. Don’t risk injury by storing pride in a place that is easily accessible. 

 

At the start of this blog I said I sometimes think in analogies. It’s just how my mind works. For me, creating an analogy makes something otherwise abstract, tangible. It becomes easier to examine and thus to remember. So if nothing else, next time you feel warmed by pride, I hope you think of space heaters.

 

Don’t get burned,

M.

 

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