On Pride, and what is acceptable in a slave
Main Entry: hu·bris
Etymology: Greek hybris
: exaggerated pride or self-confidence
- hu·bris·tic /hyü-'bris-tik/ adjective
I had to stammer and stumble around before I could even ask to go to a concert.
And I STILL didn't actually beg to go… Just asked and it was granted easily.
When Owl asked, "Now was that so hard?" I was taken aback; Because, yes, truly, it was "so hard".
He asked why.
I had to think about it.
The truth came out, as it usually does.
The reason is pride; or, perhaps, the word defined above. He made me look that one up.
I am a slave. I am allowed pride in my slavery. It is even encouraged.
What I am not allowed is pride not fitting to my station.
A slave has no business being "too proud" to do anything. Especially something that a free person desires for her to do.
He made me stand at the mirror and look at my collar and the stone he put on there. He reminded me that THAT is what I should be proud of! He is right, of course. He also, incidentally, mentioned again that he is, as he puts it, "no great shakes", which hit me in a whole new way this time. If he is just that ordinary, then what does that make me?
Answer: it makes me no more or no less than if he were king of the world. I am a slave. My worth is not based on who owns me. It is based on me and on my actions.
And let's examine the "too proud" to beg… proud of what, exactly? What in the world have I got to be proud of that would preclude begging? Nothing! The more I look at it, the more it smacks of an over-inflated sense of importance. Now, begging well, on the other hand… That is something I could be proud of. Serving well, pleasing my Master, learning to anticipate his wants and needs and the wants and needs of others who are free, keeping my Master's home clean… Those are things I could be proud of. I should take pride in the collar around my neck…in the fact that a man such as Owl deems me worthy to wear his collar. I should in turn strive to make my actions fit to be proud of. As long as I am doing my best to live up to the ideals set forth for one who chooses the path of the kajira, I have cause for pride. Otherwise, I have only cause for shame.
© Khaos WolfKat 2003
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