Posts Tagged ‘ pride ’

Pride

There isn’t much I am absolutely convinced about. Not because I am a skeptic or cynic, but because I am humble enough to know there’s a lot I don’t know. However, I am pretty sure I have pride pegged.

Pride is just another word for stupid. No, not “ignorant.” Ignorant implies that you just haven’t been exposed to knowledge. Stupid offers no such wriggle room: you’ve been told (and probably more than once), and yet you still stick your tongue to the flag pole on a sub-zero day.

Pride is all about, well, me. It’s as if I go thru this thing called life with a mirror in front of my face. Me, me, me. Yeah very simple (therefore very appealing), but, um, not particularly farsighted (especially if you have short arms). Mirrors make bad windows: you don’t see much besides your nose (maybe that’s just me).

But, why is that “stupid”? No doubt you’ve heard of “pride goeth before the fall”? I don’t think that refers to a football team that spends the pre-season “rebuilding.” Rather, I think it refers to not seeing something that might change your life, like a crevasse or Mac truck.

You might remember the origin of the word “narcissus”? Falling in love with yourself just doesn’t enhance your life, personal relationships or your career. Though you might get a timeless story told about you, or even a very pretty flower named after you.

And, while you are admiring your striking profile, you just might not appreciate other people that can make your life so much more. Or so much less.

Pride also takes away your ability to review what you’ve done. The ability to say “I’m sorry” (whether you were at fault, or not – but just because a relationship is so much more important than your own opinion of your own grandeur). The ability to adjust the path you’re on, and maybe not actually get to wherever it was you were heading to (which is probably a very good thing). The ability to learn something that, shock of shocks, you might not have already known. The difference between a rock and a guided missile. If you’re stuck on yourself, mid-course corrections are impossible.

Unlike the lesser animals, or avocados, we were not born with all of the knowledge that we would need to successfully navigate through life (although there are some who act as though this were an infallible truth). And while self-confidence is very necessary, self-confidence on steroids is counterproductive; you know, two heads are better than one (even if that one head is huge). But, getting along, let alone working together is a team effort, and the pride that a team needs is different than the sum of its individual members. Michael Jordan may have been great (“may have”?), but I don’t think he played all by himself very often (Bill Russell and Walt Chamberlain are my personal faves).

Memorial Day 2013

I’m still in shock to see people at the recent Rolling Thunder rally in DC that are neither citizens, nor “legal” visitors. Not that I don’t want THEM there, rather, that there aren’t more of “us” there. You know “us”: those born in this country, or naturalized citizens who are just too busy reaching for the next shiny thing to show any sort of gratitude to those who have served, and on this day, those who have fallen.

No surprise at all to see my left wing “friends” (using the word in the Facebook sort of way) completely blowing off the one thing – the one and only thing – that gives them the freedom to utter (or, not) the most senseless bilgewater (if you think bullshit is bad, you ain’t been aboard ship). I’ll betcha there weren’t any Volvos or Suzukis with bikeracks and Obama stickers at the rally.

Memorial Day is a day to be aware of our roots. Oh yeah, the Fourth of July is fine, but it’s supposed to be a party – it’s a birthday for heaven’s sake. Party hearty, Marty. But, Memorial Day, and Veterans’ Day are our opportunity to take a minute out of our self-indulgent lives and look to the contributions that others have made to our way of life. It is no wonder there are no “policitians’ day” – esp considering the present incumbent of the White House.

I fly my flag every day. When it looks tired and torn, it gets replaced; I’m averaging one a year hanging from the front of my house (the worn ones line the walls of my garage). I have a 12 inch Marine Corps sticker on the back of my jeep; if my spare tire was larger, I’d find a larger sticker.

I salute those that I knew. May 26 is the day a horrendous crash occurred on the USS Nimitz; a crash that took 14 lives, and “gave” me a berth on that cruise. Several more, including my best friend on board, would pay with their lives before that cruise was over. Several more have not returned from patrol since then.

I am not an “ex-Marine”; I am not a “former Marine”. I am a “Marine no longer on active duty”. Those who put on the uniform write a blank check to John and Jane Doe, and we have to be satisfied with that. That we are willing to give our all for a largely ungrateful nation and a hostile world. Because we are willing to die – and to kill – to protect a way of life that is the envy of the rest of the world. If you think the US sucks, then you haven’t been out of Kansas.

To all those who gave, to all those who didn’t come back: Semper Fi. We will never forget. Well, some of us, anyway….