Pride is probably the deadliest disease known to mankind. All of us know someone who suffers from pride. All of us suffer from it ourselves. Each generation that passes deals with pride. Pride has no discriminatory characteristics. It can be found in both genders, all races and every socioeconomic class.

The debilitating and crippling effects of pride can doom a person, relationship, business, government — you name it. Pride is self-destructive. This self-destructive nature does not have to exist because pride begins and ends with each of us individually.

I must admit, at certain levels of my life, I struggle with pride on a daily basis. I can think of instances in my life where pride has prevented me from advancing. I am sure everyone can think of instances just in the past few days where pride seemed to take control and you just could not bear to take the humble road. But from personal experience, I am sure if a poll were taken, 100 percent of the survey participants would agree that pride is self-destructive.

Pride is arrogant. Pride says take all for self and do not worry about the next guy. Pride says no one considers me, so why should I consider anyone else? Pride only concerns itself with the present and puts the future on the back burner. Pride only considers one’s own feelings and neglects the feelings of others.

Fortunately, the fact you are reading this is a sign and opportunity for you to reverse course. If you struggle with pride, make a commitment this day to change.

Each of us has lofty aspirations and dreams, but pride can be the one and fatal nail in our coffin of dreams if we do not learn to exemplify humility. Humility is the antibiotic for pride.

Pride can destroy a family, friendship and community. It can even destroy a school system.

One of the greatest challenges in life is learning to blend the many different ideas and personalities of people into one big engine for growth. And no matter what arena of life we may be in, the opportunity to grow is always hampered by pride, whether by our own pride or by someone we know.

Next time conflict arises, play close attention. Ten times out of 10, it is due to the pride of one or more individuals. Mature, well-rounded individuals do not let their egos and agendas get in the way of progress.

Whether it be in a disagreement between husband and wife or a dispute among congressmen, the absence of pride will greatly speed up the solution process.

As well-rounded, respectable people, let’s not let pride be one of our characteristics. Let’s make a full-fledged effort to be different from times past. Let’s live above selfish agendas and arrogant attitudes. As the old cliché goes, your attitude determines your altitude. Pride never rises; it always sinks and sinks, and continues to sink. Do not become another statistic and victim of pride but rather a survivor. Your decision to live above pride will make this world that much greater.

Contact Jasper Knighten at jasperknighten@yahoo.com.