My Interaction with Bandai and a Dose of Humility

The essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the...

The essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind….

-C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (via Notes From a Common-place Book)

One vice that I continually struggle with is pride.  It has nothing to do with my amazing charisma, movie star good looks, or talent as a wordsmith (although all of those apply to me…just kidding).  My pride has to do with the whole “I deserve better than that!” attitude.  That attitude was on full display the last couple of weeks.

Around Christmastime, I was fed up with not getting replies to emails I had sent to various people, including anime distributors.  Some companies, like FUNimation, have been very responsive to me; it doesn’t matter whether an organization replies yes or no – I simply appreciate an answer to an email or phone call.  Another that has replied fairly well is Bandai Entertainment– and though I had no bone to pick with them, their demise made me think about how I can become frustrated with similar companies without knowing what’s happening on their end.  For instance, if Bandai had not responded to my emails, well, there’s certainly reason – they have fewer employees than I imagined and are now going through an immensely difficult time.  Knowing this now, I’m very grateful for past replies from the company.

The same could be said of my recent anime con experience.  I worked with various staff members who each treated me differently.  I became angry at one who didn’t respond quickly to an email, but then felt ashamed when I realized it was a mere accident and that he was going way out of his way to further assist me.  Another treated me sort of as a pesky member of the press, while a final one seemed suspicious of my motives in requesting a guest interview.  They were all fair in how they interacted with me, though I likely couldn’t see past my own inflated self-worth at the time to realize it.

Part of pride is that we, in a sense, think that the world revolves around us.  We don’t stop to think about others – we’re unwilling to walk a mile in their shoes.  Years ago, my wife (then girlfriend) fell down a flight of concrete stairs.  Shortly afterward, I went driving to get her something to eat, but I was so flustered that at one point, I went down the wrong way of an unfamiliar street.  Though it was only for a fraction of a second, I got rude gestures and angry horns directed toward me.  Would they have been more patient if they knew that I wasn’t myself?  Did they think of what I might be going through?  Not likely – and neither would I have if I was in their situation.

The process of becoming a Christian can be defined as being the end of the self and the beginning of Christ living in us.  And although one is justified when he or she accepts Christ as Savior, transformation is gradual and on-going.  And so, I’m both saved and a horribly prideful man.  But the rub is this – that my faith in action will make me less prideful year by year, day by day.  And maybe one day, I’ll be the humble man I want to be.

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  • Myst
    9 January 2012 at 12:20 pm

    I’m actually finding myself in a very similar situation as the ones that you have described as I try to matriculate into college. Despite my many attempts to contact administration, I find myself without any help or answers. I have been getting frustrated by this silence, and as deadlines approach, anxiety is increasing as well. In reality, there is no doubt countless other students who are also trying to get help and administrators are probably swamped with requests. Looking at it from another perspective, it’s clearly not a matter of incompetence (as my pride would be quick to assume), but an unfortunate and inevitable situation. All I can really do is be patient and pray that I will get the help necessary to make the rest of the transfer as smooth as possible.

    It is a wonderful thing when God has given you awareness of your pride and instilled in you the desire to change. Because once you are aware, it becomes something you can constantly improve. Thank you for this reminder ^.^

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    • TWWK
      9 January 2012 at 2:34 pm

      I’m glad that my post was helpful. Indeed, it’s understanding that we have this pride that’s maybe the biggest step in changing our thought and our actions.

      I feel for you in your situation – I had a lot of difficulties with administration when I first entered college, and in fact, because of issues with staff, had to withdraw from a more prestigious university to attend one that was…less so. It aggravated me to know end, though I now realize it was for the best and all part of God’s plan. Again, my pride got in the way.

      I’ll pray for you and I hope everything turns out well – keep me posted!

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      • Myst
        16 January 2012 at 10:08 pm

        Thank you for praying! It was a stressful week, but in the end it worked out. I’ve moved into my dorm (almost) everything is in order. :)

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        • TWWK
          16 January 2012 at 10:41 pm

          Awesome – I’m glad things are turning out. Have fun!

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  • Taylor Ramage
    11 January 2012 at 2:02 am

    One of the nice things about Christianity is that it gives us an awareness of other human beings that we don’t naturally possess. The more we grow in faith, the more we consider multiple factors in a person’s situation. Of course, we can never be perfect in this, but Christianity compels us to err on the side of compassion, or at least it should.

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    • TWWK
      11 January 2012 at 7:19 am

      I agree. And I think the idea of loving one’s enemies is all wrapped up in this. If one thinks about the natural and cultural inclination to just do what’s best for oneself and to shun those who treat us poorly, the idea of loving one’s enemies is still as revolutionary today as it was in Judea in the time of Jesus.

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