A Cowgirl's Pride

by R. M. Moore

"Pride Goes Before A Fall". How many times have you heard it? How many times have you said it? We teach the kids that pride is a bad thing, and then wonder why they have no self-esteem. I think the problem is that people confuse pride with vanity. 

"Every cowgirl knows one of the reasons we ride to the top of the mountain is the feeling you get inside when you reach the top of the mountain. It's not just the view from the top that a cowgirl is looking for, it's the challenge of getting up the mountain. That good feeling you get inside when you do something like that is pride. It feels good when we get something done. The harder something is to do, the better you feel when it's done. So, what can be wrong with that? Well, if that cowgirl rides back down the mountain and brags about it, I guess that would be bad. If that cowgirl rode around town and told everyone all about it, that would be bad too, because then it becomes vanity. Some rascals can take five minutes to do something, and five hours talking about it. Heck, isn't that one of the biggest reasons rascals are so annoying?"
"A rascal can go his whole life without learning the difference between pride and vanity, but that doesn't fool our cowgirls, does it, Miss Jenna? Pride is like looking out a window, and vanity is like looking into a mirror. Pride is what a cowgirl does when she is alone, and vanity is what she does when she knows that people are looking. Pride is when you care what your inside cowgirl thinks about you, and vanity is when you care about what other rascals think about you. To a Real Cowgirl, how she feels inside is much more important than what any rascal thinks of her."

Is not pride just a feeling of accomplishment? If we teach a child that the good feelings we get from accomplishing things are a bad thing, then aren't we teaching the lesson that it's not worth the effort to accomplish anything? I try to teach the kids that the best thing about getting things done is the feeling you get when you are done. That feeling is pride, that's a good thing. The lesson we have to teach is not that pride is bad, but that it is vanity to be shunned. That you do not need to be humble, to act with humility. Or, in cowgirl speak:

"Pride leads to doing, vanity leads to talking. And every cowgirl knows the difference between talking and doing."

That's why you'll never hear me tell a child that "Pride Goes Before A Fall".I tell them " It's a vanity that goes before a fall".

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