Pride and Character and Humility, OH MY!

Paul Kazanjian

Go back in time with me to a couple years ago. We’re getting out of our car and walking up towards the movie theatre with an excitement level so high that people walking past us must stop and stare. We buy our tickets, run up to the guy who makes sure we paid, give him a huge high five, contemplate a chest bump but refrain. We are in our seats and then across the screen appears the title…The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.

This is one of my favorite movies of all time. I love it, period. The action is mesmerizing, the characters are inspiring and the story is awesome. My favorite character in the movie is Aragon, the lone ranger who is destined to reclaim the throne as King of the Realm of Man. The third installment of the trilogy gives us the tale of the final chapter in his quest to become king. Throughout this story we find three important traits in Aragon that make for a very effective leader.

Pride is defined as a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc. In other words, it means to be proud. How many things do you take pride in? One thing I take pride in, off the top of my head, are the Philadelphia Eagles. I like to wear t-shirts and jackets that display their logo and colors whereever I go. I’m sure you’d do the same for your favorite sports team. I also have pride in my chapter. I would hope that whoever reads this is definitely proud to be a brother or sister of their respected chapters. Pride definitely is very beneficial to leading your chapter down the path you have set forth. But pride by itself can be detrimental.

Character is defined as the assemblage of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing. This is probably very familiar to you and regarded as a decent characteristic of one’s personality. Ask yourself what are some of your character traits that you think stand out in a group setting. What would another person on your executive committee or even your group of friends say about your character? Think about it for a minute. Got them?

Humility is described as being not proud or arrogant. What do you think being a humble person means in your own words? I’ll be honest, I get the picture of a weak “Mr. Nice Guy” type person who lets people walk all over him. What do you picture? Now, obviously this is the complete opposite of pride and they should not be mentioned together in the same article to make a point about a strong and developed leader. “C’mon Paul, give us a break!” you might say. Well meditate on this idea for a second.

Pride, Character and Humility are all displayed very intensely in Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings. He has a great deal of pride in what he is doing or he wouldn’t be fighting for men! He has very respectable character, so much so that other kings see it and praise it. Finally this great warrior king that has great pride and good character has enough humility to bow to one knee in front of four hobbits that are not even half his size. Do you see the picture now?

Being a leader in your house does not merely entail you to be overly prideful, or a respectable guy, or a nice leader who isn’t mean. It’s a healthy combination of all three. As a leader in your chapter you should have enough pride in the house so that you are proud to be a brother or sister, have good character so that your brothers or sisters respect you enough to vote you into leadership, and finally you should have humility in the sense that you will have no hesitation bowing to the “hobbits” of your house. Combine these three traits, and you’ll be surprised as to how much progress your chapter makes.

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