Dec 3, 2007

I'm Proud of You

"I'm proud of you."
"Pride goeth before a fall."
"It is better to lose your pride with someone you love rather than to lose someone you love with your useless pride." (unk.)
"And nothing to look backward to with pride, and nothing to look forward to with hope." (Robert Frost)
"Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves; vanity, to what we would have others think of us." (Jane Austen)

What is it about pride? We strive for it; we disdain it. We both commend and condemn it in others. But, really, what is it? Is it the self esteem we crave or, as Jane Austen suggests above, the esteem of others?

I have been thinking on pride today in a roundabout way today - about how much reward there is in hearing someone else say "I'm proud of you." I do not ever recall my parents saying that to me - I'm sure they must have at some point but my mother, in particular, was (and is) one to whom there is no superlative, no high compliment appropriate for her children as there is always room for improvement and, after all, they might get too proud of themselves.

Is it, therefore, pride in ourselves that is so abominable, pride in our achievements? Or is it the craving of the approval of others? The satisfaction of having someone else be proud of you? I am beginning to think that, like most things, there should be a middle-of-the-road word that covers the appropriate amount of "pride" - enough so that it is healthy but not so much as to be obnoxious.

It is unfortunate, I think, that many of the women I know do not take pride in their achievements. They downplay what they have accomplished if, indeed, they take note of it at all. I find this reflection brings me much sorrow for I know many, many women with many, many accomplishments to be proud of. For some, it may be a grand achievement of publishing a book or building a self-sustaining business; for others, simply making it from one end of the day to the other given all the burdens they must shoulder; for still others, fighting a constant battle against seemingly neverending forces to work toward their best and highest good.

I think that one of the most heartwarming things to hear from someone is not necessarily "I love you" but "I'm proud of you." "I love you" carries so many burdens and uncertainties with it but a heartfelt "I'm proud of you" brings nothing more than a real sense of accomplishment and gratification that someone else noticed your perseverance, your struggle.

I want each of you to know that, for so many reasons, I am proud of you and my wish for you this holiday season is that you experience genuine pride in your accomplishments and continued struggle against strife. You have each come through so much. Be proud of yourselves. You deserve it.

As Mr. Rogers sang, "I hope that you are proud of you too."

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Blogger Jade said...

:) I'm proud of you too!

1:59 AM  
Blogger LauraJ said...

I second Jade! and thank you.

9:15 AM  
Blogger Jade said...

I was thinking about your post this morning as I was drying my hair... all those quotes about pride... and it reminded me of a song...

"Oh Lord it's hard to be humble
When you're perfect in every way...
I can't wait to look in the mirror...
cuz I get better lookin' each day..."

Hee hee. Do I have to admit now that I was raised listening to country music?

11:45 AM  
Blogger peppypilotgirl said...

:) Glad to see you using that great new picture, LJ!!

And, Jade, no need to admit it, the quote outted you!

10:07 PM  

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