S2E3 20 December 2020

Humble Pride

In this virtuous mini-season, we're exploring how we can grow together in an environment that drives us apart. This week: The virtue of humble pride.

We're half way through our mini-season to wrap up the year. The Virtues of a Pandemic explores four ways in which we can calm our anxieties, and remind us that we might be isolating, but we're never alone. If you missed the start of this season, now's the perfect time to go back and catch up from Virtue #1 - Shared Truth.

And now, on with the show.


The intro poem is an audio collage made from reactions to this poem that I sent to a few close friends. If you can't listen and would like a transcript, please get in touch.


Dear Diary, 2020 was terrible, I didn't achieve anything, I only ...

Learned how to bake sourdough. Worked out in my bedroom, sometimes. Went on a lot of walks with a couple of friends who live close. Saved a lot of money by not going out. Educated myself about racism. Demonstrated for my Black brothers and sisters. Got to see my family. Had difficult conversations. I launched a Kickstarter project. Spent more time outside. Found a new love for cycling. Kept a bunch of plants alive. Reconnected with friends I almost lost touch with. Learned a lot about mental health. I survived.

Dear Diary, 2020 was difficult, but I still achieved so much.


Welcome to a quick pause. A moment of reflection, a chance to care for ourselves and to show up for each other.

Each week I'll offer you an inspiration and a practice to try.


People have been talking a lot about privilege. White privilege, male privilege, straight privilege, the privilege or having gone to a certain school, or being part of a certain network.

Privilege comes in many different forms and not recognizing that we have it can lead to an inflated sense of self. It's easy to take things for granted when you always had it. And it's hard, when you don't have it any more.

On the other hand there is pride. Pride can stop us from asking for help when we need it. If you're too proud to say that you're stuck, things get worse as you hold out to ask for help. Maybe we feel like we're not worthy of help, or we don't need help, especially if we had to look after ourselves for a long time.

The antidote to stop both pride and privilege from dominating our lives is humility. Today's practice is to check in with your privileges and your pride and remind yourself of the reasons to be humble.

Make a list. Where you have privilege or an advantage that others don't have? Think beyond just the color of your skin or your sex. For example: Have you grown up speaking several languages? Or maybe you had early work opportunities that kickstarted your career?

Next to it, make another list with things you lack, things you need help with, or have gotten help with in the past.

If either list is empty, or almost empty, think again. We all have our privileges, and we all have our areas where we need support, where we rely on others.

Finally, think about things you achieved in the last year, despite everything. Who helped you? Where did you surprise yourself? How did you help others?

If you get stuck, try starting like this:

Last year was terrible, I didn't achieve anything, I only ...

and then list all the little things you feel like aren't a big achievement. Allow yourself to write down everyting you did without judging if they are "worthy" or not.

Then change that intro to:

2020 was difficult, but I still ....

Seeing all three aspects - your own strength and privileges, your helpers and allies and the fact that you uplift others - together they make this magical balance of humble pride.


That's it. If you want to dive deeper, look back over the list and find the most surprising items. What did you achieve? Who helped you? And who did you help?


Today's episode was written and produced by me.

Many thanks for the humble achievement voice memos to:

David Tran Marta Dalton Laurent John Trina Jane O'Duffy Luxxer Caroline Brown Scott Elliot

You can find links to all the awesome things they do in the show notes at aquickpause.com

Tune in next week when we explore the fourth and last virtue of a pandemic.

I'm Jonas Haefele and this was a Quick Paus


A massive thank you to all the wonderful people behind the voices in the intro. You can find them and all their projects here:

David Tran @bendy_unbroken on Instagram Yogi and Gong player. Founder and Teacher at thebowbungalow Home of Virtual Yoga. Where it’s personal.

Marta Dalton Founder of Coffee Bird Guatemalan specialty coffee. Family-owned. Women-led. Ethical.

Laurent John Portfolio Singer, musician and producer.

Trina Jane O'Duffy @trinajaneoduffy on Instagram Holistic health coach, specialising in helping you reset gut health, IBS and reducing inflammation!

LUXXXER @luxxshoots on Instagram London based photographer and director.

Caroline Brown Founder at Made by Caro B creating drinks that nourish the mind and body. Fouder at Well and Healthy nurturing the mind and body through yoga, sound therapy and coaching.

Scott Flashheart Founder at Podcast Consultant Making people listen. Host of Probably True Podcast

Words, concept and production by Jonas Haefele.

A Quick Pause is a production by slow.works

Additional music by enrique27naveda from Pixabay