“It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels” (St Augustine – 345 – 430)
Click on the image above to see the aftermovie of Hillsphere’s show at Sugar Factory done on the 8th of June 2018. It’s worth it, trust me. 😉 Or start reading below here:
I have a love/hate relationship with the emotion and mechanics of pride. Most of the time I consider pride nothing more than a sense of vanity: A validation that one apparently craves and wants to show to “the others” to say “Look at me! I am awesome and you should think so too!”… It’s not often a coincidence that this form of pride is spouted by those who are the most insecure about themselves… Needless to say, this is not exactly the type of emotion I would want to associate myself with.
I also often consider pride to be a bad guiding element. Many great mistakes and fatal misjudgments were made in the name of “pride” by people who thought they “did not need help” or “who could do everything by themselves without guidance or advice”. The stories are plentiful, yet, people don’t seem to notice and/or learn from it.
Now I am not saying that being autonomous is a bad thing (I mean, autonomy is the bane of my existence in life these days and it brought me to where I am in life now.) but pride, can be the one thing to stifle autonomy and turn it upside down. It’s pride that blinds people for advice from the outside that could benefit them, just to name one example…
And I am not saying you should not “take pride in” something either. I am proud of my work and my music because of the blood, sweat and tears that went into creating all those things. These things are here now and they will not be taken away from me. That simple fact can fill me with joy and a small ego boost at times. But does that mean I am always proud of myself? Always filled with pride and always glowing with an arrogant sense of self proclaiming “I CAN DO ALL THE THINGS?!” … Nope, it’s more like the opposite. But the source of that is too complex to explain here now.
So then the question is: Is there a positive version of pride? Why would I make this introduction about pride in this post? Where am I leading this too?
Well, last Friday (08-06) I had one of those few instances in which pride actually was a positive emotion and mindset. This happened when I saw the guys from Hillsphere play their album release show at the SugarFactory in Amsterdam. They released their album through my own label Layered Reality Productions earlier in May and they could now finally “play it to the world”. On that stage I saw a band of young, talented and passionate young men playing music they loved the most with a fire that is inspiring and above all a joy to behold.
Seeing this spectacle before me, filled me with pride and a sense of accomplishment.
Why? Because in this very same venue in 2015, I saw this band (with a radically different line-up though) performing in the small room next to this big one and I saw something legitimately awesome in their performance and their music. I knew from the get go that I wanted to sign these guys, because I knew their music had potential and deserved to be heard. I was glad they felt equally positive about my offer and our working relationship became a good one ever since. My pride did not just stem from “Me doing stuff for them and being proud of that” but actually being proud of them as a band for persevering and creating something as intense and unique as this show turned out to be.
My feeling of pride suddenly became something outside of myself and a way to say “I am proud of you guys!” like it was a gift to give. That strong sense of being happy and proud of and for them, made me tear up near the end of their gig. I was legitimately touched by what they put on display and it once again reinforced that I signed a band that has potential and is a force to be reckoned with. Of course this also is to my own advantage as a business-man and such, but I mostly noticed that the emotional response from me personally was the strongest. I was able to help these guys in their adventure… And I hope I can do that many more times.
So as a conclusion, I can say that pride in itself is still something I am not the greatest fan of (as it is mostly distributed to those who in my opinion, are not deserving of it or are using it wrong…) but in this occasion I let the pride flow in. And it felt really good. And after the show I hugged Elias (the bands’ main composer and the one member that went through it all) and told him that I was very proud of him and loved them all for their work. I gave a bit of my pride to him … And it felt fantastic!