303: March in February

20130223_141809[1]My oh my, Brunei! You really turned it on for National Day. The day of Pride. Everyone, that’s 410k of them, dressed up in all manner of hat, garb, colour, face scarf and marching through the town in groups to end up in the main park to show their pride to the King.

Each of them bearing a flag of the country, waving, so happy. And I was happy  for them as well, I’m not sure why, but their pride became mine for those fleeting moments.

Pride. What is it exactly? Pride is a happiness in what you have achieved, it is a moment you want to demonstrate to the world or to your partner or yourself. Hey look at me, I have done something really good for you, for me, for the world.

Pride starts early with the crooked picture by the five-year old held out to his parents. The parents may react to the drawing in many ways. Some may praise, some may be bored, some may hold out for perfection by pointing out a line that could be drawn a different way to make the picture a bit better.

Pride is different from having an ego. It is a natural spontaneous feeling that erupts when we feel good about who we are or what we have achieved. I often feel pride with my crooked vegetables, a class well taught, a meal that turned out well. My pride usually stems from having done something that can benefit myself and those around me.

Practice for today: Put aside the judgement of yourself, the wonky lines in the drawing, the odd-shaped vegetable you grew. Put the voices of criticism in another box and feel real pride for something that you do today. Share that with those around you and you give them permission to feel the same.

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