Pride is an elevator that never stops to let you off, but always waits for you to get in. It takes you to the highest level of achievement, then lowers you to the highest level of self-deception. Case in point, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The audacity of his corruption and lack of his self-restraint will become infamous in the annals of political idiots.
Charles W. Colson, a former aide to President Nixon, was also once a passenger on the elevator of pride, until he realized that he had to escape through the ceiling trap, and jump off.
In a revealing CNN.com editorial, (highly recommended reading) Charles W. Colson, exposes the folly of pride that took him down with the Watergate scandal and landed him in Prison. In his editorial, Mr. Colson does an amazing job in identifying the spiritual corruption that is often the negative side effect of personal pride.
One of my favorite quotes in the editorial, is a quote from Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who wrote from the gulag, "Bless you, prison, bless you for being in my life, for there, lying on the rotting prison straw, I came to realize that the object of life is not prosperity, as we are made to believe, but the maturing of the human soul.
No, you don't have to be a politician to ride the elevator of pride, trust me, I know. You just have to invest in the "culture of self" to such a degree that you no longer recognize the self in selflessness.