Thursday, 22 October 2015

Vainglory

Fr Denis Lemieux writes here & below:

"Vainglory is the idea that happiness lies in the good opinion of other people. Pride couldn’t care less about other people and what they think, since they are inferior beings, but vainglory cares intensely about such matters. What matters with vainglory is not what you are or what you do, but what people think about what you are and do.

Vainglory has many manifestations. There is the more obvious form of it—attention seeking, spotlight hogging, the person who needs to be ‘the bride at every wedding, the corpse at every funeral’. There is the desperate hunger to be popular, to be liked, to be well thought of—in my own country of Canada this is a major factor in the pressure to either not hold or at the very least not express unpopular political opinions. Indeed, much evil goes unchecked in the world because of this form of vainglory—we just want everyone to like us.

In personal relationships, there is the inordinate desire to be loved, to have that special person look at us in that special way—again, the important thing is not our being or our deeds, but the good regard of the other. How many women, in particular (and sometimes men, too) sacrifice their true selves, their beliefs, their principles, because of that need for love?

And then there is the burning desire to have one’s contributions acknowledged, one’s gifts appreciated, one’s work valued. The need to be thanked. The need to not just do what is right but to have someone notice that we are doing what is right and say ‘Hey, good job, you! You are doing what is right! Kudos to you!’"