Certainly the most destructive vice if you like, that a person can have. More than pride, which is supposedly the number one of the cardinal sins - is self pity. Self pity is the worst possible emotion anyone can have. And the most destructive. It is, to slightly paraphrase what Wilde said about hatred, and I think actually hatred's a subset of self pity and not the other way around - ' It destroys everything around it, except itself '. Self pity will destroy relationships, it'll destroy anything that's good, it will fulfill all the prophecies it makes and leave only itself. And it's so simple to imagine that one is hard done by, and that things are unfair, and that one is underappreciated, and that if only one had had a chance at this, only one had had a chance at that, things would have gone better, you would be happier if only this, that one is unlucky. All those things. And some of them may well even be true. But, to pity oneself as a result of them is to do oneself an enormous disservice.I think it's one of things we find unattractive about the american culture, a culture which I find mostly, extremely attractive, and I like americans and I love being in america. But, just occasionally there will be some example of the absolutely ravening self pity that they are capable of, and you see it in their talk shows. It's an appalling spectacle, and it's so self destructive. I almost once wanted to publish a self help book saying 'How To Be Happy by Stephen Fry : Guaranteed success'. And people buy this huge book and it's all blank pages, and the first page would just say - ' Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself - And you will be happy '. Use the rest of the book to write down your interesting thoughts and drawings, and that's what the book would be, and it would be true. And it sounds like 'Oh that's so simple', because it's not simple to stop feeling sorry for yourself, it's bloody hard. Because we do feel sorry for ourselves, it's what Genesis is all about.

~ Stephen Fry

He shook his head in exasperation. “Are you sure you’re not a Succubus? You seem really obsessed with the sin of lust.”“It’s a good sin. I like gluttony an awful lot, too. Sloth has its moments, but I just don’t understand acedia at all. I mean, what the f**k is that anyway? Oh, and greed is good, to quote Gordon Gekko. Anger, envy and pride,” I ticked them off on my fingers. “I don’t often have much use for them. It’s a shortcoming that I’m hoping to correct in the next millennium or two. I’m not very old; I can’t be expected to have mastered them all yet.”“I think you’ve worked too hard on some of those,” he said dryly. “Maybe you should switch over to virtues instead. Give yourself a much needed break.”Virtues? Yeah, right.“Virtues are too difficult,” I told him, shaking my head. “Look how old you are and you’ve hardly made a dent in them. I’ll admit, you seem to have zeal nailed, as well as faith and temperance. Self control? I’ve got my doubts based on your recent actions. I’m not seeing the kindness, love or generosity, either. That humility thing seems to be pretty far beyond your reach, too. Really, really far. I’m sorry to tell you this, but from what I can see, the sin of pride is a major component of your character. Dude, you’re f**king old. You should have these things pretty well ticked off your shopping list by now. I’m seriously disappointed. Seriously.

~ Debra Dunbar