What to be proud of…

Pride is an interesting part of our life. Everybody perceives pride differently although it actually has a single definition. I am not going to give you a link to any dictionary that interprets this word. Instead I am going to discuss its real meaning.

When we are talking about pride, we can’t avoid talking about shame as well. The two are exact antagonists. Whoever is proud of something, would be ashamed of the opposite scenario. Thus, for example, if one is proud of having touched a rare plant, one would most likely be ashamed of having not touched it.

There are certain types of pride that I have encountered so far – to be proud of:

  • yourself (how you look, how book-smart you are, how street-smart you are, what your achievements in your life have been so far)
  • your family (same characteristics as your self-estimation)
  • your country’s history (its creators and other ancestors such as the national heroes)
  • your country’s sports achievements (of any kind of sport)
  • your country’s socioeconomic and geopolitical status (including its current foreign and security policy)

Of all these types of pride that I have encountered I can’t see any pride as genuine as the first one. I am wondering why I have to be proud of the achievements of someone else. What have I done to contribute to their fullfilment?! Of course, this is a rhetoric question.

I am not saying that we mustn’t be proud of our country and our family. The least we can do is treasure these achievements. However, we must know that this pride is a fact without our making any effort for its fullfilment. My point is, we must never allow such kinds of pride, or even shame, to prevail in our life. What we must be proud, or ashamed, of is what we have achieved so far. The rest is populism more or less.


Filed under Life

4 responses to “What to be proud of…

  1. Miglena Grozev

    Reading this article made me think about motivation, pride and validation. Somehow, these three are very related. If we are not motivated in life, if we don’t have a goal, we can not be so proud of our way of living. Lets look at validation now. We live our life based on validation. We all care about how other people see us, we all want to be validated by others. Don’t we dress up fancy because we try to look good when we meet people? Of course, we all remember the times when someone made a compliment on us. Having a simple shirt might actually become your favorite item in the wardrobe, if only a fiew people around you liked it.
    My point is we cannot be motivated without being validated. On the other hand, we can not have pride without having the motivation…

  2. Interesting point! But what do you mean by “we cannot be motivated without being validated”? Does validation need to be related to motivation in order for you to do something? Not necessarily in my opinion. If you’re motivated to achieve something in life, mere respect toward yourself by the people around you would be enough. But sometimes validation may come from yourself only. Respecting yourself could be enough for you to do something that few people would validate. For example, if none of the people you know would validate your being a taylor, there can still be motivation because you know that you would like to become a tailor.

  3. Dima

    I think you are both right on the issue of motivation. Yet, we need to make a clear distinction between intrinsic (which Dimitar emphasized) and extrinsic motivation (which Miglena discussed). I think these two are intricately intertwined and while we are social beings who yearn to be loved and accepted, we are bound to endure a certain amount of peer pressure, as well as being proud by association (simply because we wish that, in return, others will be proud of us). Still, it believe it is the people who grow in life driven by their intrinsic motivation that make a real difference in our world, whether it’s positive, or catastrophic.

  4. Serendepity

    I know all you guys are talking about motivation, beting intrinsic, or extrinsic, and validation but the simple fact of life is we are the ones who make a difference in life, we are the ones who motivate ourselfs and we are the one who validate it. We are the ones who make life interesting and/or make life pathetic. It is our action that decides our destiny. The best way of looking at life is to examine a glass that is half empty…. Motivation only makes sense if there is positive belief in what you want to do and what you actually do. If you are not going to do what you should do then motivation and or/validation is a muuh point.

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