I struggled very hard with this topic. No matter how I turned over my possible stories for proud, they all had a political spin. And I hate politics. I don’t think Amy Johnson Crow could have foreseen the rapidly escalating social and cultural dysfunction of 2020 when she developed her topic lists for the year. And our current state of affairs is a shame. I don’t feel you can talk about being proud without making a political statement these days.
To be proud today is toxic for certain “groups” and is only allowed for other “groups.” For someone like me to publicly profess my pride, let alone write a blog about being proud of anything I have done or the pride of my ancestors, is begging to be attacked on social media. I wonder if these special interest groups have been pushing this ideology intentionally as a way of being petulant and spiteful?
The angry haters of today have lost sight that not all living humans are descended from the hated plantation owner or any human traffickers. It is overlooked that MANY more than “some” human beings are genuinely tolerant of a variety of “differences.” Most disturbingly, it is ignored that we ALL descend from some form of evil cultural practice in history. All of us are members of some group of humans that has persecuted or mistreated another group. None of our self-identified cultures are innocent when you consider humans have been discriminating against other humans since the beginning of time.
Every sub-culture has been subjected to persecution, prejudice, discrimination, enslavement, you name it – we all have ancestors who have been mistreated. And we have all faced mistreatment in our own lives.
So, am I proud? You betcha. I am proud of a lot of things. And I’m not afraid to profess any of them and I will not apologize for who (or what) I am. Though I generally keep it to myself, because, well…I’m a misanthrope. But since the topic this week is proud, here goes…
As other bloggers have already covered, I am proud of my ancestors – both the European and Asian peoples. I am proud that – to date – I have not found one who participated directly in acts of discrimination. That’s not to say my ancestors had private thoughts that I would disagree with, but those thoughts are long lost to time and did not shape who I have become. They were hard-working and came by their good fortune on the backs of no-one, but their own. And each of my immigrant ancestors came to the United States to flee some sort of persecution. As far as I can tell, they left whatever cultural animosities they had behind them – letting them fade further with each generation.
I am proud of my family today. We each have differing opinions, outlooks, and experiences. Despite all these differences, our family has been generally respectful, loving, and kind to each other. I count my family as among the smartest, most well-rounded, and real intellectuals of modern times. We are small business owners, government contractors, teachers, industry specialists, homemakers, and wanna-be cowboys. Some of us are medically trained, have college degrees, or other specialities (though none of us are politicians). We are silent observers and well-read individuals. We have achieved our economic successes through hard work, not hand outs. We strive for honesty, not deceit. We own our mistakes, without blaming others. We are the average American. I am who I am through the examples of my elders.
I am proud to live in one of the greatest countries in the modern world, and I hope it can endure despite the controversies and disruptions. I will do my part as an independent, free-thinking, well-informed citizen and accept the fate of our Democracy.
I am proud to have been a member of the military. And to have carried on our tradition to serve, even if only for a short time. I am proud to continue to serve my country in the work I do today.
I am proud to have maintained a weekly blog and am thankful to Amy Johnson Crow for giving us these weekly topics to ponder over and share in our writings.
If being proud of these things makes me a bad person, then so be it.
Final thought for the week…good thing I am no longer on social media. Talk about toxic.