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Tuesday, November 24, 2009


A word has come to my attention lately: vainglory.

This word used to be quite commonly used; but I don't know that I have ever heard it used in 'normal' conversation. I am familiar with it through literature, especially literature dealing with character or morals.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines "vainglory" as: inordinate or unwarranted pride in one's accomplishments or qualities; disposition or tendency to exhalt oneself unduly.

Ouch. This word has become a thorn in my side. I have begun to notice how constantly my thoughts revolve around situations that I can now call vainglorious. I have also begun to notice that 'attached' to 'feelings' of envy or inferiority or 'left outedness' is: vainglory... that is in someway the deeper, motivating 'feeder' of those feelings.

I can say that at this point, I am glad that I am recognizing the pull to act on those thoughts and am learning to resist them. So far, the discipline I am bringing to bear on them is to name their motivation: vainglory, and then to take action that is opposite: face the truth about myself in the moment and seek an action of humility. Which is tending to mean that I shut up a lot.

But it is hard.


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