Is it a good thing or a bad one? I suppose like so many things it’s a two-sided affair.

 Pride in a personal achievement is probably good as it tends to spur us on to more achievements. Pride in the achievements of family and friends can also be good.

 I suppose the problems could start with WHAT are you proud of?

 Someone who is proud of beating a lesser competitor may be on the mean side. A young man proud of beating an elderly one in a competition requiring agility and strength, boasting in the pub of his win,

Well that’s a rather shabby pride isn’t it?

The rich mother proud that her daughter won a school competition, in which her ability to buy assistance gave the child an unfair advantage, that’s also pretty shabby.

The ‘win at all costs’ attitude accompanying such prideful exercises is a bit sad really. For everyone there is always someone else who on a different day will be faster, stronger, cleverer, and more beautiful. The inability to accept this can be a result of misplaced pride.

Pride, when it is the emotion that won’t let you admit a mistake, is one that hampers so many relationships. A silly argument over something, when the truth comes out, the other may change the subject, pointing out something else wrong in order to avoid saying “I’m sorry, you were right”.  The next accusation can add a lot of pain to feelings already hurt. The relationship flounders and could die. All because of misplaced pride.

I am proud. Proud to be a South African. A country that avoided a civil war through discussion and negotiation. A country that out of a repressive regime, put together one of the world’s most advanced constitutions.

I love to watch the Comrades ultra marathon. The pride not just of the person who wins, but of everyone who is proud that they tried hard and succeed in finishing the race is something that makes me happy. And then those who don’t complete in time, yet who say in interviews that they are proud they tried and gave it their best shot, I think they have a right to be proud of themselves. Let the scoffers just give it a try too.

8 thoughts on “Pride

  1. Pride can be such a strong motivator — but, you’re right, we need to be careful about how it’s applied. I’m proud to be a Canadian, a mother, a grandmother, I’m proud of my abilities and strengths, but sometimes I’m a total bitch because my pride gets in the way (Cindy hit the mark there!)

  2. Since blogging and meeting the SA crew I see precisely why you are so proud: an amazing country which has met at least some of its obstacles head-on. Lovely post, Sidey.

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