Day 5. Foolish Pride.

When I was younger and tried to learn table tennis from a friend, there was this particular humiliating thing he always did when he was one or two points away from game point and I maybe had 2 points to myself; in order to end the game with no points to me he will calculate the difference between our points, reduce his points to the number of the difference and assign me zero point. For a good number of times or every time he did it the game ended up with me having no points and so he would brag about it.

This went on for a while until one fateful day luck wasn’t on his side. I was on the verge of losing a game of 10 (as usual) having three points against his eight and so he did the usual; assigning me zero points and to himself five points and also the entire remaining service of the game. I accepted the offer and from that moment luckily for me every service offered was carried by the wind to another side of the table and so the game reduced from 5–0 to 7-5. I offered to take the service back to regulation but possible humiliation perhaps made him refuse and so the game went on. We were tied at pack, moved to a tiebreaker game and I won; and of course it cancelled every other victory he had against me. He was better than me and I obviously didn’t win that game by my skill rather he lost the game because of Pride; foolish pride.

Most of us have become so good and consistent in the success we achieve that we get confident and sometimes too confident that pride set in and then we decide to neglect some regulations, precautions and routine checks. We refuse to take advice and opinions from newbies in the game because of our success rate of achievements. My friend in the story forgot that sometime ago he was like me, a rookie, and refused to accept the fact that he possibly was teaching me well instead let pride get the better of him. Today if he talks about all his humiliating victories against me I only need mention that one game and the talk is over.

In our places of vocation or skill, career or education we should always keep in mind that we did not start from the top, we were ones like that rookie. Confidence is splendid, but then when it gets too much it becomes an issue. No opinion or advice is a waste no matter where it comes from. Endeavor to keep in check that thin line between confidence and pride; foolish pride.

Uzor Richard Luomy
©July 2019


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