I'm going to try not to ridicule the picture of the muscle builder too much.
Nor will I try to characterize him personally as to what may be wrong emotionally and psychologically. This being an actual photograph and not a piece of impersonal clip art, it would be a crying shame for me to say too much about him, only to have him come after me. With all those muscles, there wouldn't be much left of me.
But let's just let our minds wander, and in so wandering, picture in our mind's eye some other guy who would do that to his body, all on the obviously mistaken notion that there's something good about it. I know I have lots of really bad issues with my own psychic health, but as bad as I am, I'm still apparently miles from the edge. Let's say this other guy represents some place near the edge of the worst psychic issues. That's good news for the rest of us, because we're not even close.
Now, I don't mean that physical exercise is a bad thing. Oh no. I've known people who've done it, and they say it's been beneficial to them. I can believe that, and I agree that physical exercise extends our lives, giving us extra time to do things, like exercise. I occasionally get out to the fitness center and do a little routine. Since I actually do wear bathroom slippers while I'm there, I can't do the treadmill because they keep falling off my feet. So I stick to the running machine where you don't lift your feet, instead the machine goes up and down as you move. I put in a nice five minutes last night and it was nothing.
Today I'm using our mental image of this other guy to illustrate the wild side of pride. Because that's what I'm calling it. Yes, I know, pride could only be one part of the problem. Yes, yes, that's so true. There's lots of mental workings that go into this other guy's problem, doubtless, but wouldn't you also agree that pride might be in there somewhere, at least a hint of it at some point in his life leading up to this full blown gnarliness?
What's the problem with pride? Pride goeth before gnarliness. Whether you become gnarly in the sense that you're twisted up worse than the most egregious pastry. Or whether it's a gnarliness that lieth in the inner man, where you're also twisted up in knots that can't be undone, that refuse to be loosed.
We're proud. That can be a good thing. I've been teaching pride for some time and I'm proud of my efforts. See, that's healthy. I want people to have a sense of pride. Because it helps us do a good day's work. It gives us incentive to get out of bed, incentive to hold our heads high and not let anyone get us down. It contributes to true confidence, that we not only can live but we can live life to the fullest. Because it's not just Woe is me, it's something much healthier than that.
But like anything, too much of a good thing can cross a line where it is unhealthy, bad for us. Pride that isn't checked by good sense. Pride that takes over and consumes us. Pride that leads to a fall and gnarliness. The other guy we have in mind today, we have to pity him. His pride is insane. In your mind's eye picture his little underpants. That's an absurd looking package. He'd have to use a corkscrew to take a piss!
In short, there's good pride, which we should all go for. And there's bad pride, which is to be avoided at all cost. If you have bad pride, look in a mirror. And if anyone tells you you look great, do not believe them!
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