I have to admit I was caught up in the big football game. And I was very happy with the result. But it got me thinking about the nature of pride. I’m not a proud man. I don’t have prideful feelings about much at all. If there’s anything I’ve accomplished it was invariably achieved through some combination of hard work and good fortune. Perhaps I might be pleased with the result of resilience and effort but pride seems to be an unproductive feeling.
It’s been many years since I’ve felt pride in the achievements of my favourite team or my sports heroes. I had nothing to do with their hard work. And I don’t have sports heroes anymore.
I’m not proud to be Canadian. I had no more influence on my nationality than I did on my height or eye colour. I certainly feel extremely fortunate but I find myself cheering for Slovenians or Koreans in any given Olympic event almost as often as I do for my fellow Canucks. Almost.
I can imagine that had I had a child who did some great or heroic thing and I had been some positive influence in their character development, then I might feel some pride. But that is an imaginary scenario. In this whole discussion (monologue) about pride, I’m going to make one exception. I’m proud of my wife.
In her parents’ most stressful and vulnerable times, my wife has been heroic. A rock. Relentless. A war hero. Infinitely kind, thorough, generous. Caring and without limitation. Smart. funny, beautiful. I’m in awe of her. I feel like I’m a peewee hockey player sharing the ice with Bobby Orr.
And there will be no statues or monuments. She’ll be forgotten by history. But she’s a hero.
The logical extension of this is that there are millions, if not billions of heroes that we don’t even notice. But I’m keeping this personal. Perhaps one of the only things I’m proud of is that someone of such high moral quality and beauty still loves me after all these years. Maybe that’s my greatest accomplishment.