Thursday, March 10, 2016


Pride... It's a strange word and even a stranger emotion...

"I'm proud of ...."
Complete the sentence with any word that you hear every now and then!

Add name of a country in the blank. Country as an entity existed before, and will continue to, irrespective of the fact that you exist or not! It is merely by chance, you were born in a country instead of another. You did not have any role to play in making of this country as it is today (or in any time in past) (assuming 'you'' to be a reader of this 'rant'' - I don't expect any important who's who to be wasting time here, if you indeed are making a difference to country or society). Call it nationalism or patriotism or whatever you may, there is no good reason to be proud of something you don't contribute to!

That brings me to 2nd word that could fill up the blank... Religion! Again, there is not much that you have contributed, apart from being a devout follower! But, the pride that is usually associated with religion is more "stronger" depending on how stronger your faith is! Religion can help at times with faith and hope and motivation and about 2nd chances and failures and mortality among many other things. But, essentially it is how you cope with things, so you should be proud of yourself and not being identified by religion or for that matter nationality or race or creed or gender. Simply because it was by chance you were an Indian or Pakistani. Hindu or Muslim. Female or male. Black or white.

It would be another thing if you were originally something else and then struggled to get into another. Like in case of people who have migrated, or converted, or came out of the closet! In such a case, it really is understandable and justified! And then, people taking pride in their identity is good. To set an example for others. These have earned their identities under difficult circumstances after a lot of trials and tribulations!

Talking of struggle and difficulties, parenting is another tough thing to do. So, parents being proud of their children and children (probably after becoming parents themselves) being proud of their parents! Both these cases are very pertinent! It's the relation between that of creator and creation - not in strictest sense, but close enough!!

Parents are being parents for the first time. And so are children. And it takes a lot of efforts. It's never easy!

Which brings me to the next case, doers, makers, inventors! Similar to parents, these people are doing something which perhaps no one else has done before. And when they do achieve success in whatever their endeavor be, it is but obvious to feel proud of their invention or creation. 

Ask any artist about his art - painting, music, literature, just anything that he may have composed, and you'll understand what I mean. Or a highly skilled worker making a Swiss luxury hand made watch. Or an unskilled worker (perhaps one in a team of thousands) who physically toiled to build a civil  engineering marvel! Or a junior coder who adds a few lines of code in a very complex software. No matter how small his contribution, would take pride in identifying himself with the larger project! These people truly deserve the pride, since they have contributed and were not just there by-chance!

What do you think? Should we take pride in something which happened to us by chance? Or, should we be more proud of something that we actually created/contributed?

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