Pride is a Strange Thing

Have you ever been watching the TV and heard some person say, “I’m proud to be _____” and wondered why that person would find pride in that specific thing? Just me? There’s been quite a few times I’ve wondered about that and about the concept of pride as a whole. Back when my dad was trying to take me to church on his weekends (my parents were divorced, every other weekend was with dad) I remember someone at the church trying to explain to me that pride was a sin. But then all the people around me inside and outside the church always seems to be proud of something and the usually seemed like good people, so why was it a sin? I could see if pride got out of hand and began to turn the proud person into the arrogant person, but just being proud of your kid for overcoming a fear or learning to ride a bike? That seems… well, healthy and normal I guess.

In the last 10-15 years, however, I’ve begun noticing a trend that seems to be gaining in occurrence. People are stating pride in things that aren’t accomplishments. In fact, some people have expressed pride in things they never had anything to do with. “I’m proud to be from {insert city here}. Why would you be proud of being born in a particular city? You weren’t involved in that decision. Now mind you, I’ve heard the stories about people who were born and raised in some ghetto that over came the gang ridden conditions to become great, but that’s not a situation where you’d say, “I’m proud to be from ____.” That’s when you’d say, “I was born _____, and wasn’t given a chance but I fought and fought and I’m proud that I overcame that situation.” Overcoming a bad situation is definitely a prideful thing. Simply being born somewhere is odd to me.

I also get a little confused when I hear something about, “I’m proud to be a woman working in a man’s job,” or something similar. Now here’s the thing: I’m a chick and have always believed that if you challenge me to do something and I believe it’s worth doing, I will bust my ass to make it happen. I remember arguing with people even back in high school about how women were perfectly capable of doing almost everything a man can do so there really shouldn’t be a phrase such as “a man’s job.” I have since conceded that the average woman does have limitations, usually physical, that makes it less likely that they can do some job typically held by men. But I have a very good friend who is a kick ass Amazon woman fire fighter. I only stand 5’2″ and even though I’m pretty sturdy, I doubt very much I’m have the physical capability of doing her job. But she doesn’t come home and say, “I’m proud to be a chick fire fighter.” She comes home and says, “I’m proud to be a fire fighter.” (And yes, having pride in the job you do is totally valid, especially when it’s a uniformed service.)

Yes, there are all kinds of limitations placed upon us as a society everyday, and our overcoming those limitations should be considered proud accomplishments. The same goes for when we create goals for ourselves and then achieve them. I get that and share in the pride with the people I care about when those things happen. I just really don’t get it when someone says, “I’m proud to be a chick,” or, “I’m proud to be from ____.” It’s like saying, “I’m proud to be a brunette.” If you had nothing to do with something happening or it’s just a characteristic of who you actually are, is it really something to be proud of? If so, please, explain to me the mentality in the comments. I’m genuinely interested in trying to understand.

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