For those of us who have public roles, whether they are based in real life, social media, print, or some other context, Vainglory: the forgotten vice is an excellent (and perhaps necessary) read. Here are a few quotes that sum up the book nicely. Be prepared to think deeply.
“… if we are secure in the recognition self-respect we have from God, then we can better shrug off or rightly accept human assessments, whether they are affirming or not. But if we are not secure in that unconditional sense of worth, we may seek recognition self-respect from human beings, trying to build secure self-acceptance on the shaky foundation of human opinion.” (page 24)
“… pride is about position and power, and vainglory is about attention and acknowledgement … So pride is really about the superiority of ones’ goodness. Vainglory, on the other hand, is a disordered desire for the display of one’s goodness.” (page 42)
“The tradition especially recommends two spiritual disciplines as pathways to virtue and practices of resistance to the vice of vainglory – the disciplines of silence and solitude.” (page 94)
“We enjoy glory appropriately when our enjoyment of it and of all of God’s gifts is anchored in our identity as children of God. If we stand secure in that identity, we are free from needy grasping at a glory of our own making from whatever audience will deliver it.” (page 105).
Wow. There is a lot to think about in those four short quotes, isn’t there? If you really want to wrestle with this, read the entire book! I highly recommend Vainglory: the forgotten vice, and give it an A.