Editors' note: Vanity comes mainly from the ego – indeed the ego is vanity. Vanity is easy to see when it is related to the physical body, such as thinking it is beautiful or strong, but we can also be emotionally and intellectually vain. Vanity may be based on imagination or fact – there may be real beauty or intellectual ability. An obvious vanity is from the ego, thinking we are better than we are.
Vanity goes hand in hand with insecurity and revolves around the self, but extends outward, being concerned with display. Fussiness is vanity, as is taking on too much, competitiveness and judging. In putting someone else down you are boosting yourself up, which is a subtle form of vanity. We are none of us indispensable and need to remember this – it cuts us down to size. Discipline that comes from vanity is inconsistent, however this form of vanity has the potential to become something higher. One should take oneself out of the picture by remembering God or praying.