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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).

GoldenDoll 7 Jan 5

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14
???? George Carlin on national pride - YouTube

Thankyou. We don't know so much about George Carlin in England, but I'm learning. And I like Happy to be... much better.

Love this, very good

Excellent.

love george

@GoldenDoll George is funny . You got to watch "religion is bullshit" its my favorite

Ya just gotta luv George! My favorite also is Religion is bullshit!

8

It's just another form of tribalism which I abhor... except for sports fandom.

I think that the teams you support are very often decided by birthplace as religion typically is.

I totally agree about the tribalism point of view which I also abhor ... but without the exception of sports fandom πŸ™‚

I'm the same ways. You see that kind of tribalism I see as different. We know it is not really important in the scheme of things. It is a great form of escape.

7

Agree with you one hundred percent.

'Personally I can only be proud of something I've done, not something that happened by chance.' Thanks for a clear, simple and unambiguous statement on this entrenched attitude.

7

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.

My roots are in the Midwest. I've lived in the South since age 8 ( more or less). There are parts of Southern pride that you didn't list, some that I have come to appreciate.

@BenPike What are some examples of those parts you appreciate, Ben?

@BlueWave Tough one. I'm tempted to say it's indefinable but that's a cop out.
Courtesy maybe. And the problem in answering this is that there are exceptions everywhere. Labelling vague undertones is difficult. Maybe when I meet a person I respect for their quiet dignity and honor, they're southern, because that's where I am. And I'd probably meet folks like that anywhere I lived. But the idea that a smile and hello is okay with complete strangers is one I like.

Please tell me what you think of Louisiana.

@BenPike The courtesy you mention extends primarily to fellow whites who are not outwardly of different political or religious beliefs. And, some of the people you mention for their gentility have no tolerances for people who look different from them, or who show cultural differences.

Louisiana has been noted for its political corruption since the days of Huey Long and that corruption extends down to the local level. It is not uncommon for local school board members and county officials to be indicted for bribery and fraud.

Further, educationally, Louisiana's public schools have always been among the bottom tier of states in terms of student achievement and graduation rates. That has been the case since the Civil War.

Finally, Louisiana sold out to petroleum interests long ago and that control remains. As a consequence, Louisiana has suffered hugely from oil=related industry pollution. Those are facts.

@wordywalt If you think I tag people with terms like honor without knowing them well enough to know whether they are bigots, then you don't know me well. Wait. You don't know me at all. And it shows.
Lump sum categorizations do you a disservice.
My question about Louisiana was not for you.

@BenPike the funniest thing I ever heard was one of the black Real Housewives of Atlanta saying she was proud to be A Southern Belle. Loud guffaw!

6

Agree 100%
To be proud of ones country or heritage or similar is not just stupid, it is often also damaging and dangerous because it keeps that virus of nationalism alive that has been responsible for so many wars and conflicts.

Well said.

6

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.

Actually, everybody's heritage is so broad, the American one is just more recent.

Yes and no.

6

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.

Ben detta amica!

6

This is annoying to me, because I feel you can't be proud of something, you don't have control over, I feel you should only be proud of accomplishments..I refer to George Carlin on this subject

5

I've been both proud and ashamed...but mostly aware. America was a much different place decades back. Though "patriotism" was "taught" in secular public schools at least they were secular and a bastion for this (even then) agnostic from an otherwise fundamentalist theist community.

But I grew up in the 60's witnessing the civil and women's rights movements. Through the 70's I saw these and other movements make a difference, rational and humanistic laws were being passed, the infrastructure was maintained and growing, the economy was booming and you could make a decent living at minimum wage, a wage only teenagers or the least employable needed to take.

Yet, I realized America was the greatest country ever...stolen from its indigenous people. In school, I caught and hung on to the briefly stated and highly glossed over generations of our history: "my people's" genocide, slavery and intolerance of every new wave of immigrants.

I say "my peoples" in that I am very likely among the ancestors of Irish potato famine immigrants. With a known family history of warriors, laborers and yes, alcoholics I am indeed of a stereotypical Irish/Celtic heritage, before and after the Roman catholic genocide, enslavement and assimilation.

While I will never "forgive" my ancestors for sacking Rome five times and not occupying it, hence preventing the start of the most destructive religion(s) to ever plague mankind, I don't dwell on it as surely as I don't swell with pride every time I think of their formidable contributions to the arts and science.

I won't even start on my Cherokee DNA but, as I studied ( as a young "layman" ) the cultures and mythologies of many races, these I felt were more relevant to me.

In the end, more than being proud or ashamed of my heritage, I am aware. We do have cultural differences and the only way to fully understand them is to take a long, critical look at the past...

My half Cherokee grandfather retained something of that heritage and their beliefs. He was the only member in my family who didn't detest the fact I was agnostic.

Sorry for the lengthy response but I do have to add a private discussion with him when I was refusing to go to church. "Talk with him," our theist women demanded of grandad, so he took me out side.

"What do you hear?"
"Birds?"
"Yes, are the birds going to church?"
"NO!!!" (I thought he was going to help in my escape!!!)
"Because they know the 'great spirit' (nature as an entity) as people cannot. Like our women, some people need to know and even pretend to know. You are different but hold that in your heart and appease the women. It will only change what you believe if you allow it."

Disappointed that I still was being told to go to church, that is one of many times I felt a glowing pride in my Cherokee heritage as he and I had many such conversations throughout my childhood.

So, back to the short answer. I am proud and disappointed with my mixed heritages but mostly I am aware of them. They tell me much about who I am as I have been affected by these cultures genetically, spiritually, historically and, more recently, politically.

I think it we go far enough back we all have "mixed" heritages. Trouble it is becomes irrelevant after a few generations as some DNA will just disappear. You'll only got room for so much, and we often cherry-pick the bits we want. Oops, biblical connotations!!

@GoldenDoll going that far back I'd agree with you. I'm not...how far back exactly in cultural (etc, etc) effects I am uncertain but there does appear to be a directly proportionate association between cultural effects and affects of time passed.

As I am a prime example, "mileage" does vary.

5

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.

Jewish cultural background is awesome, being person of book.

5

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.

I appreciate that you shared this side of the issue and explained it so well. Many ways to approach this concept, and you've helped broaden my perspective on it.

@Naeem I agree with you wholeheartedly. If you said you were proud to be Syrian, it would irk me a little bit, but I try to step back and just see it as shorthand for the full statement. I try the same when someone says they are proud of being gay or being a woman. I consider it giving them the benefit of the doubt.

5

Personally, I think it's pretty silly.

5

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.

4

I'm proud to be a part of the family I was born into because they have made good choices over the years, imho.

2

I totally agree and often argue with patriotic types over this. I feel no pride at all in having been born completely by chance on one particular bit of mud and rock sticking out of the ocean.

Jnei Level 8 Jan 5, 2018
2

I completely agree. I can't help where I was born or what colour.

2

I can see your point, but have to say I am proud (for example) of what my father did during WW2.

@Red_Cat -- Something he did that affected the world for the better is a source of pride. My son and daughters are proud of what I did too, and I don't tell them not to be. It is a little embarrassing at times, but hey, it's family.

2

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.

Yes! That's very well put and I agree totally! I will modify my thoughts to include yours. Thankyou.

@GoldenDoll , I can sense that you are capable of apprehending and perhaps appreciating the Buddhist idea that pride (in general) is "unskillful" and best avoided. Not in the "it's sinful; you're a bad person if you do it" kind of way but the "this doesn't help; it's problematic and an impediment on the path" kind of way. No guilt, just deepening levels of awareness as to what is "skillful", i.e. leads to awakening. I

Im reluctant to discuss this attitude with people in meatspace because I suspect very few people here in the West could believe that the total abandonment of "healthy" pride is a mentally healthy thing to do. I'm already alienated enough as it is; I don't need to get the weight of popular perception of the mental health establishment cantilevered against me!

@stinkeye_a - I like the idea, and am glad you shared it, and if it had to come from buddhism that's fine.

2

So we all evolved from monkeys, why not to be proud of being cousins of monkeys. lol

Hussy Level 4 Jan 5, 2018

hehe...that we survived to where we are now is indeed something to be proud of!

2

What bothers me is when an American born says "I am Italian, Irish, Polish, Ecuadorian....." basing his / her answer on the ancestors' nationalities.
Now, when somebody says "I am proud of being blonde." I CAN'T HELP BUT TO LAUGH.

Agreed - I've just posted a question about that very subject - I'm waiting for the hate mail!

@GoldenDoll I ask them " Are your parents Italian / Irish / Polish....? " and they answer me "No, my great/great grandparents were. " My parents were French, I was born in Argentina and I have lived a lot more years in USA than anywhere else. When I travel I use my USA passport. Period.

@DUCHESSA A weird bunch, grappling and grasping for an identity which doesn't exist. A bit like religion.

2

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.

But, but....I could swear I just read about ten posts of people saying they are NOT "proud" of heritage, where their ancestors are from, etc. Maybe I should go back and read again..... ? πŸ™‚

Sorry but I have zero feelings of pride in who my ancestors were. To me such matters of chance are totally irrelevant. And that fact that all Europeans are related to Charlemagne leaves me indifferent. And which line do you choose to take? Your mother's? Your father's? Your grandmother's? Your grandfather's? Ad infinitum. Except that after just a few generations any DNA traces may disappear, which doesn't mean your not related to somebody, just that their DNA didn't make it to the top!

@BlueWave when I am proud I am proud.

@GipsyOfNewSpain That’s great, but you also said that β€œWe ALL are proud of our heritage.” (Emphasis added.)

1

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.

1

I guess there is nothing wrong with having an actual or perceived connection to a specific group, I guess it's just a little bit of Tribalism. At least, as long as you feel pride for only the truly positive things that have come from your lineage

People never say "I'm proud to be American (but not the bad bits)" do they? It's quite difficult to sit on the fence about it.

1

Two thoughts for you:

  1. In many cases, nationalistic identification points to the noble ideals of a particular polity or culture. For instance, we Americans in the United States can point to the high ideals of democratic participation that were a motive force in our Revolution, our rejection of monarchial autocracy, and our ongoing efforts to perfect the universality of legal rights for all humans.

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.

  1. There are people who are from oppressed or denigrated groups. They've been told that their ethnicity or their origins or even, yes, their religions are cause for shame. This is unfair and wrong, and saying "I'm proud to be ___" is a way of rebutting and rejecting that shame.

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."

Mmmmm. I could never say I'm proud to be an atheist. It's just my state of being.

1

As John Lennon would say, imagine there's no country... the world will be a better place. just human beings sharing the world.

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