How do you feel about people saying "I'm proud of my heritage", "I'm proud of being British", etc. Personally I can only be proud of something I've done, not something that happened by chance. It's like saying "I'm proud I'm a blonde". It's something that annoys me (almost as much as "god loves you no matter what).
What the person proclaiming pride in one's heritage is doing is saying indirectly that he or she identifies with the values and beliefs of that culture. . When an American southerner says the he or she expresses pride in his or her southern heritage, he or she is says (in a masked manner) that he identifies with racism, prejudice, discrimination, extreme religiosity, and disapproval of our federal government.
It is for that very reason that I , whose family roots in the deep south go back 280 years, absolutely reject my so-called southern heritage. That heritage does not exemplify who I am or want to be.
It all depends upon the situation, but if you’re an American, you’re heritage is so broad that to be proud of it is questionable. If I was a second generation Iranian, then perhaps being proud of ferdowsi would make sense, but a family that’s been in the US since the mid 18th century, it seems silly. I’m Scottish by name only.
I find this rather annoying as well. Though, occasionally, I am guilty of referring to my Sicilian heritage, but only half-heartedly, and normally with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Almost everybody I know constantly refers to their '(fill in blank) blood'. We are who we choose to be, not who people were before us.
It doesn't bother me. I wish I could say I'm proud to be an American but with that piece of shit in the White House I am not. I think I could say I am proud of my Jewish cultural background -my grandparents coming from the Ukraine-the music, the foods, the dancing, etc.
I agree with this so much.
However, this points to something I get into alot of trouble about. I understand that people shouldn't be ashamed about their immutable traits. I understand that the opposite of shame is pride. I understand that fighting shame is the motive of the gay pride movement and I am happy it exists, but it irritates me on an intellectual level.
Thinking about it has lead me to a slightly different opinion on pride. I am proud of being Indian American AND joining the military. The immutable facet of my life makes the action slightly more difficult because they are rare and Indian American's in large part are not supportive of the choice. Margaret Hamilton envisioned a way of approaching programming that changed the world and lead a software development team at NASA in the 60's AND was a woman. Her being a woman in 1960s America enhances her achievement somehow. Hidden Figures has a similar story arc for black women.
I think that when a strong, successful woman or black woman says she is proud of that immutable facet, it is shorthand for their full story. I think Irish Americans and Italian Americans had similar challenges decades ago and some of that meaning has been diluted as the added challenges have been reduced, but I try to think of the big picture when I run across it.
Glad you raised such an interesting point here. I am in agreement with you with regard to something that I have done and not where I was born. However, as we both know many people seem to derive some sense of identity and belonging when they refer to their national heritage, whilst conveniently ignoring the facts that their national heritage has a long list of wars in which there was murder - rape - pillage and plunder.
I try to stay away from pride entirely. To me it smacks of "I can do this and you can't, so I'm better than you.". That is of course pertaining to the "pride is for what you've done, not what you are" model, which I wholly endorse. I'm not "proud" to be American, or female, or intelligent, or anything else I didn't have a say in.
I'm not even "proud" to be talented or creative, or of the fruits of such foregoing labors, because I feel such pride is unnecessary, unskillful, and encourages a sense of division from and superiority over others. There are so many beautiful, skillful feelings to have--im not missing out. Pleased, grateful, gratified. But not "proud".
"Proud" is (in my view, as it applies only to me) a way of putting youself above others, and I try very hard not to do that. When I play a piece of music or write a poem or draw a picture that people enjoy, I can feel many pleasant feelings that don't reinforce the idea that I'm separate from and better than.
Sorry, don't meant to offend anyone or annoy anyone. I am Proud I may have in my DNA descendant of original tribes dwellers of the caribbean islands. They are just "Tags" Man don't get hung up in too many negative things. We all are proud of our heritage. Were we come from.
I laugh a lot when I hear a person saying "I am proud of being British / Italian / Irish / Polish...." when their passports -if they have one- and birth certificate clearly state they were born in USA. Add to this the fact that in most cases their great-grandparents were the ones born overseas.
To mix heritage, nationality and religion as if the three were synonyms is wrong.
Two thoughts for you:
We've been far from perfect about that over history, and things are not headed in a great direction at this precise moment, but over the arc of history, we're definitely improving and I firmly believe our current state of political affairs will prove to be a single step back from which we will take two steps forward in the near future.
In any event, our national ideals and achievements in pursuit of those ideals are worthy of pride.
We non-religious people are among that number in quite a few places in the word. Who among us hasn't been told that our rejection of religion is a cause for shame? Yet my non-belief is not a thing I've done, it's simply a part of who I am. I'm not ashamed of being an atheist. If someone were to challenge me by trying to shame me for my atheism, I very well might say, "I'm not ashamed. You know what? I'm proud to be an atheist."
I understand the use of the word when people use it with heritage or bloodline as a means of saying they are not ashamed of their lineage or wanting to identify with it, but that's pretty much the end of it for me. They say, "I'm proud of my Italian 'roots'," thinking that Italy was made up of people like Galileo Galilei, Leonardo Da Vinci and Marco Polo, while displaying total amnesia for Nero, Caligula, and Benito Mussolini. But I'm all right with that. I don't do it, but they don't bother me.
Otherwise, "I'm proud of..." had better be connected to some accomplishment or achievement, personal or in relation to someone else. I have better things to do with my time, and I'm proud of that.