Rafed English

Destructive Activities

The harmful effects of pride affect many aspects of life. In view of their harm it is all the more necessary to give thought to curing this spiritual malady.

If there were a lesser role of pride and conceit in conversations and debates, there would be an automatic decrease in many hostilities and confrontations. That is because many needless conflicts and confrontations between individuals and groups arise only because they are motivated by pride. In their effort to wrest some apparent gain which is seemingly to their advantage, they cause themselves and others much harm by failing to solve their problems through fair and sound logic and mutual understanding.

A proud person may become prone to other such undesirable qualities as envy, stinginess, and malice. A perpetual desire to see others fail may take possession of his entire being. If he sees someone who is better and more capable at performing some task, his heart overflows with envy, even in matters essentially unrelated to his own profession. This feeling may becomes so painful and unbearable and such a hostile passion may gradually come to dominate him that all his productive efforts are over shadowed by his urge to defeat his rival. His activities in life are not of immediate concern to him. His ultimate goal is to see his rival fail. As his activities assume a largely destructive aspect, his mental and physical energies are wasted. Whenever he gets a chance he tries by all means to satisfy the demonic urge that rules his being and intentions.

Naturally, everybody shuns and avoids the company of proud and conceited individuals, in the same way that they are scared of humility in their relations with others. This acute tendency destroys even the most valuable and strongest of bonds. It is an undeniable fact that indifference to the feelings of others and a contemptuous disregard for them produce a reaction resulting in one's being treated in a contemptuous and insulting manner by them. The proud person gives significance only to his own feelings and is totally lacks consideration for others. This one-sided attitude creates a contradiction between his wishes on the one hand and the insulting and indifferent attitude of others on the other. With a shattered spirit and an agitated heart he is forced to face the blows of unexpected and unceasing indifference that he has to encounter.

Congenial manners, which have a close relation with a person's inner moral state, not only leave a desirable effect on one's life but have a profound influence on other people's hearts. Those who really possess outstanding merits and moral virtues are like a refreshing spring which appeases the thirst of their associates with its fresh and pleasant water. Modesty and true refinement become real when they arise from one's nature. Otherwise those who resort to artificial means in this regard only deceive themselves. Everyone's spirit and mode of thinking is visible through his conduct and it is not possible to conceal them by any means.

Adapted from: "Ethics and Spiritual Growth" by: "Sayyid Mujtaba Musawi Lari"

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