Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Pride

Pride is why I do it. Do anything. Accomplishing a difficult project—that rush after completing something useful, wonderful, excel, outlast, outmatch, or outwit. I now trust myself to feel pride in doing the right thing. Back a few centuries I couldn’t have said that out loud without a serious throttling from a preacher or two. Why is pride a sin? Aristotle, who viewed pride as a virtue, said pride strengthens the other virtues, and that pride shows of us the value of our hard work and morality through emotional and social payoff. Of course not everyone feels good about good things. Some people have a malicious sense of pleasure, that happiness is a zero sum game; some people can’t see the difference between pride and hubris/vanity. Some take more than they give.

Pride is keeping to my commitment of posting to my blog daily, writing a chapter, making someone laugh, seeing wayward joy parading down the streets with a smile. Pride is job offer, a letter to and from a lost relative, pushing myself an extra mile, drilling a 3 point shot. Pride is being there for my friends, and that I have friends who are there for me. It's deleting a whole page if I know it sucks and knowing there's always more to learn, say, and do. Pride is a skyscraper, Aston Martin, my great grandfather’s antique pocketwatch, Albert Einstein, Roman aqueducts, microprocessor fabrication, my favorite bassline and my favorite charity. Pride is in the soul of humanity when compassion is our backbone.

Achievement as a human race inspires, but individualism, the most important application of self-worth, catalyzes us into great action. I feel warm inside when I see progress and love, but when I triumph, I have that emotional reinforcement of “damn I might be able to invent cold fusion or assemble some IKEA furniture without smashing two components together in a tizzy.” Motivation from merit. Hallelujah. Praise the patron saints of self-respect.

A lot of people complain of the constant encroachment on individualism, and it may be true. I hear friends and strangers talk about corporate interests trying to homogenize our identities for easier marketing. The commercialization of passion. The victimization of the small-business. The herding of the creative into focus groups. Is it relevant to anything you can change and act on? The answer could be yes or no, but don’t just say yes or no, don’t just look at things in red or blue, black or white, grey or absent: there's no pride in that. A wiseman (in a movie) once said, if you’re good at something, you should be good enough to get paid for it. Just simmer on it—it might be untrue for you, but true for some. Pride is courage and bravery--its original latin root. Self-reliance to deign your destiny so far as how you get what you want. Humility isn’t the absence of pride: it’s the enemy of hubris and indignation.

Pride will be your barometer if you trust yourself. I went through a lot of mistrust in order to see that.

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