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You cannot be proud to be…

(130 Posts)
absent Sat 22-Feb-14 20:04:38

…Scottish, a woman or gay any more than you can be proud to be blue-eyed, naturally blonde and have long legs. These are random qualities. You cannot be proud of your daughter's PhD, your grandson's portrayal of a sheep in the nativity play or your son's promotion. These are their achievements, not yours. You can only be proud – if that's an emotion to which your susceptible – of things over which you have control – your own achievements, behaviour and, I suppose, possessions.

Ana Sat 22-Feb-14 22:50:11

Which it never was in my world...perhaps I'm just getting old! hmm

Aka Sat 22-Feb-14 22:50:44

With the greatest of respect Absent you're splitting hairs. Get a life!

absent Sat 22-Feb-14 23:16:51

Doesn't look like much respect at all, let alone the greatest Aka.

I have a life – and a very good one too. I have immense admiration for and take enormous pleasure in absentdaughter's many fine achievements and am delighted and elated by the athletic and scholastic prowess of my grandchildren. Absentdaughter has considerable respect and admiration for my achievements too. I just find pride a strange, inaccurate and slightly jarring word used in that context or in the context of nationality, sexuality etc.

And just to prove that I am an irredeemable pedant or hair-splitter it's "an haughty spirit" that goes before a fall. It's either destruction or adversity, depending on which version of Proverbs you look at, that follows pride.

janeainsworth Sat 22-Feb-14 23:47:04

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

To be precise, Absent grin
The King James version.

Eloethan Sun 23-Feb-14 00:11:04

Aka I don't consider it very respectful to tell someone to "get a life".

I think words are important and carry with them all sorts of underlying ideas and emotions. absent was merely pondering on the ways in which the word "pride" are used.

My feeling is that the word "proud" is often tinged with feelings of self-satisfaction and superiority - particularly when linked to nationality.

And if one is entitled to feel proud of our children's/country's achievements, shouldn't it follow that we should feel shame at their failings? Many of those that say they are proud to be a particular nationality are much less amenable to being ashamed of some of their country's less admirable conduct.

NannaAnna Sun 23-Feb-14 00:13:09

I understand where absent is coming from. I would only ever use 'proud' about something I have achieved by myself and for myself against the odds. I do not think I have the right to feel 'proud' on behalf of someone else for their achievements. That is their right alone.

thatbags Sun 23-Feb-14 05:42:09

Does patriotism come into this? I've never thought of myself as particularly patriotic. Certainly don't take the view "My country, right or wrong" but i do rather love many things about Britain and, pedantry apart, feel quite proud of many British achievements.

It wouldn't surprise me to hear that other people feel the same way about their native country and their native culture.

MiceElf Sun 23-Feb-14 06:44:51

As ever, as shown above, it all depends on what is meant by 'proud'.

In non pedant's language there is a nasty meaning and a nice meaning.

The nasty one: puffed up, arrogant, boasting about matters in which you have had no input or control over.

The nice one: the pleasure you feel when a friend or family member (or even you country) achieves something commendable.

Absent was, I think, referring to the nasty meaning, and she was correct in what she said. And it's not polite to tell anyone to 'get a life'.

Ceesnan Sun 23-Feb-14 06:58:17

If Absent was referring to the unpleasant meaning of proud then it might have been an idea to explain that. It would certainly have prevented raised hackles!

Natsnan Sun 23-Feb-14 07:50:58

All this hasn't changed my mind one jot! I am still immensely proud of our children and our grandchildren and all they have achieved despite many problems, bad health etc. Does it matter in the great scheme of! I will continue to feel like this and to tell them I'm proud of them too smile

(We really need a "like"button on here)

Kiora Sun 23-Feb-14 08:53:50

What is the word then? My family feel particularly proud of a member of my family. We don't feel joyful. We don't take pleasure in his achievements. We can't be boastful. So what is the word? Can one of you tell me? I don't think aka meant any disrespect by her response it was just an expression when we feel hmm

Ariadne Sun 23-Feb-14 09:01:11

But the Greeks got the idea first! Hubris, then nemesis. With a bit of catharsis as a follow through. Funny how religions / societies are so keen on retribution.

I agree you can't justify pride in nationality etc - things which just are what they are.

MiceElf Sun 23-Feb-14 09:23:53

What about delight, Kiora?

Ariadne has it right. The Greeks had a word for the nasty meaning.

soop Sun 23-Feb-14 14:10:41

If I want to be proud of whatever makes me so, I shall be. I don't give a flying fig whether it's considered appropriate or not. So there!

Rowantree Sun 23-Feb-14 14:38:04

Well, I don't believe in sin, so I can admit to feeling pride- it doesn't happen often for myself, as I'm such a miseryguts, but yes, I am proud that DD2 has overcome a terrible disability and mental health issues, to being the lovely, strong, caring and amazing young woman she is now, with a degree, an MA and a career as a freelance journalist and writer, with a lovely partner and beautiful baby (our first GD). Is that pride? When I think of it, I feel choked and tearful and I want to shout it from the rooftops. Equally, I am proud that DD1 is 'her own woman' - has a philosophy of life that she lives by, works hard and well in two jobs (one as a music teacher for SISTEMA and the other lecturing and teaching in a university). She has a Ph D, has followed what inspired, enthused and excited her, is a committed Green Party member and does a lot in her local community, and both DDs are caring, thoughtful young women and I am proud to call them our daughters.
What we always wanted for them was to follow what they felt was right for them, not what they thought we wanted them to be, or do (which was a big mistake I made). They've acknowledged that many times when we've all been chatting about life, so I am hopeful that we didn't go too far wrong, (at least not there!}
AND...I am proud of my father, who came to the UK aged 12, (he never saw his parents again) learned to speak English, worked hard at his education, got a job, contributed to society as much as possible, built his own little family, and spent much of his life helping others in various situations: refugees, working on campaigns, anti-nuclear weapons, vigils for those wrongfully imprisoned, and on a personal level, he has always shown great compassion to those he knew who had no family or friends and made them feel wanted and cared about. Even now, in his late 80s, he visits an older friend almost daily in his care home - they both came to the UK together as children, and my father will not desert him now that he is a widower.
I could go on....

Is that pride, and is it wrong? I don't think so....

Dragonfly1 Sun 23-Feb-14 14:49:51

What a lovely post Rowantree! You yourself have much to be proud if!

Dragonfly1 Sun 23-Feb-14 14:50:07


annodomini Sun 23-Feb-14 15:54:56

When I see how pleased my senior GD is when I tell her how proud I am of her, I know I can't be doing anything wrong. smile

Nonnie Sun 23-Feb-14 16:40:41

How can we not feel proud when one of our own achieves good things? Can we help our feelings? I can't. It is how we show that pride that brings it into disrepute. If we are boastful then pride can be seen to be unpleasant but if we keep that pride to our nearest and dearest who share the feelings then it is not unpleasant.

I have a high achieving son who has a high achieving fiancee and I find it much easier to talk about her achievements than his when I am with those outside the immediate circle. My innate modesty prevents me from saying too much about my own child.

Lilygran Sun 23-Feb-14 17:06:15

You can definitely feel embarrassed by your nearest and dearest, and if they did something bad you would probably feel guilty. So I think you can feel proud when they achieve something. As long as you don't think you get all the credit!

MargaretX Sun 23-Feb-14 17:27:11

We had a thread about being proud of being Scottish, English, French etc etc. I don't go along with that.
Of course you can feel proud of your children's achievements, you brought them up and didn't neglect them when they needed your support.

Its when this being proud is put across in a smug manner. I try to be careful not to boast in the presence of others who have not been so fortunate.
If I could only be proud of my own achievements I wouldn't have much to be smug about...... but my daughters.....that is another story I'll not bore you with.

rosesarered Sun 23-Feb-14 18:09:01

I agree that you can be proud of your family list of acheivements, there is simply no other word. But not proud of having green eyes or being Scottish, French etc.When we were on holiday in Wales, in a gift shop, there were T shirts, mugs, banners etc all proclaiming 'Every morning that I wake up, I thank God that I'm Welsh!' Maybe it was irony?

thatbags Sun 23-Feb-14 18:43:32

I don't think I'm proud of my daughters' achievements, but I am proud of my daughters. I admire them as people and I admire how they approach life, how they treat other people. I admire their qualities. I have a sense of proper "them respect" and I am aware that they are "creditable" people. Is this not pride? And is there anything wrong with it? I think not.

Penstemmon Sun 23-Feb-14 19:02:10

Lizzy Yarnold can feel pride in her achievement, I can feel pleased for her success.

If she was my child/grandchild I would be bursting with pleasure.

jinglbellsfrocks Sun 23-Feb-14 22:24:32

You wouldn't be proud of the fact that she came partly from you?