I have a pride problem. God is working with me on that. So I am trying to be more mindful of what I am proud of, how I use the word proud/prideful, overall, just observing how pride rises up in me or in my surroundings.
A couple years ago, Jordan Peterson tweeted something about something that said something like attributing your accomplishments to your cultural identity undermines hard work. And it struck me that we often claim a pride, a possessive authority, over something that we have no control over. Because none of us chose the body or situation that we were born into. It was marked for us.
That was a common sense yet counter-intuitive thing for me… I mean, Puerto Ricans wave their flag everywhere and there is historical context to that, owning the PR flag was a felony half a century ago. We also use the phrase “Mi Orgullo” with images of the PR flag, symbols, or the island. Mi Orgullo means My Pride. Harmless, right?
Does it serve to use a to choose pride as my emotion about the culture I was birthed into? I’m not sure if pride is right. Yet, I still bear an emotional enthusiasm. I do, in fact, love my culture.
I think about the lyrics, “I am proud to be an American…” And the same sentiment applies, here. I did not actually choose to be an American. I don’t know if being proud is the right feeling. Yet, I do, in fact, love my culture. (traditionally)
And I love my flags. Flags represent unity, common ideals, a sense of belonging. But am I proud, am I prideful, about belonging to some great value systems, traditions, and lifestyles? It was given to me more than it was chosen.
Maybe I am being nit-picky over the whole issue of pride, especially because I find pride to be so corrupted today. People are actually proud of the sex they’re having…..that’s enough to stop there. But why am I surprised? Pride is an emotion that causes us to fall into corruption and disgrace. We are not supposed to be prideful.
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with humility comes wisdom.“
Loving my culture and all of its intersections is only ruined by the ugliness and divisiveness of pride. I am not proud to be an American because that’s when my icky controversial side is fueled.
How much more humble is it to give gratitude? To say ‘I did not have control over this but I am thankful that it was part of my story.’ To admit no ownership over greatness but to gracefully embrace the position you were blessed with. Instead, I think about how blessed I am to be an American.
I am enjoying the life of an American who has little to complain about (c’mon now).
All because my great grandfather was dying of Tuberculosis and flew to New York–seated on a folding lawn chair, I might add–to find better medical care. I am not proud that my Papapa, as I called him, came here only because he was dying. I am grateful that he had enough hope to come. And though he struggled, his choice set the foundations for the blessed lives his children and children’s children are able to enjoy today. Glory be to God for this little man of big faith.
I am GRATEFUL to be an American. I am grateful for my American community who was so eager to celebrate the independence we earned 273 years ago. I mean, my town put on a skydiving show! It was awesome, skydivers jumped over the river waving our beautiful flag. This was made possible because some men of faith believed God would set them free? C’mon! This was made possible because God chose to set this nation free.
After dusk, we were able to watch fireworks, how blessed are we that we can fire lights in the night sky in the name of victory and celebration?!
We don’t fear that our houses will be bombed with each flash. Instead we cheer! We buy our own fireworks and turn our neighborhoods into smoke-filled memorial sites of independence and victory!
Yes, we did some fireworks out in the yard. It was fun! I like to celebrate! I even made a Red, White n Blue chia pudding to celebrate in my tummy…
Anyway, this life is truly a blessing.
America, we might mess up sometimes but I am wholeheartedly blessed and thankful that God granted you to be my home. Life is good when it’s done with God. I pray that this nation evermore be one nation UNDER GOD and that GOD bless America!
Now that my great speech is over, here are some things I really found myself getting
proud, erm, excited about–
My family decided to simplify our 4th meal so we made subs. Perfect time to try out my pickled banana peppers! Last week I made my first ever brine and it was time to taste test the peppers from my garden.
Safe to say that my family loved them in their sandwiches. The whole jar was gone!!! A Puerto Rican woman’s biggest pride issue might actually be filed in the folder titled Compliments to the Chef.
To a Friday full of Flourish! May the inspiration strike,
Flourishing Friday post #6, last week’s here. These posts are about reflection, creativity, and inspiration. Occasionally, I will share my own expressions through art here and on my new Instagram profile @Mama_Equis.