Pride and the esteem of others

Our desire for the esteem of those around us is such that pride will dominate us even in the midst of all our miseries and errors. We would even die gladly, provided people talked about it. we want to lead an imaginary life in the eyes of others, and so we are constantly trying to make impressions. We strive to embellish and improve our image, and so neglect the true self. So if we are at peace, or generous, or loyal, we are anxious to let it be known so that we can attach these virtues to our imaginary existence. Indeed, we prefer to detach them from our real self so as to project them upon the other. Cheerfully, we would be cowards if that was the way we could acquire a reputation for bravery! Fame is so sweet that we love anything with which we connect it, even death.

Pascal

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