I Am So Very Very Proud!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Like so many things in life, the majority of our emotions are not under our control. Sometimes we feel sad and depressed for some reason or without any reason. However hard we try, we are not able to lift the pall and become happy. At other times, when we badly want to feel sad to empathize with a friend or a relative at his misfortune, it is mighty difficult to extinguish the spark of joy in the heart.

This reminds me of Mirza Ghalib's description of love as an aatish or firework which cannot be ignited or extinguished at will. Similarly, it is extremely difficult to be pleased with someone with whom you are angry or disgusted, unless, of course, you are a hardcore politician. And how can you be angry at your loved ones? When parents learn that their progeny has been involved in a homicide or a sex crime, the first instinct of the indulging parents is to hide and protect their vulnerable child from the big bad world.

(Picture from Google images,
couldn't find primary source)
So in this ungrateful life full of uncontrollable and unpredictable emotions, there is this unique emotion that you can always conjure up at your command, which, I am so very very proud to enunciate, is pride! When you are depressed, you can take pride in the fact that you are coping well enough with it. Or when your friend is facing hardships, despite the spark in your heart, you can always proclaim how proud you are at his or her equanimity. You certainly will be proud of either yourself, or your beloved, or both when you are in love. A son committing a sex crime is always a matter of pride, so is a daughter who never raises her voice.

On one hand, you can be proud of the achievements that result from hard work, on the other hand, you can also be proud of the milestones, which everyone crosses naturally when the earth completes its journey around the sun, such as birthdays, marriage anniversaries, babies' first steps, their first cusswords, completion of potty training, etc. etc. And if you want to think beyond the petty issues of your family, and contemplate on the weighty issues of the outside world, you can always be proud of your country, your race, your caste, your language, your culture, etc. etc.-- exalted subjects that will balloon your heart to its utmost capacity at absolutely no cost or hard work.

Besides all the reasons mentioned above, you can also be proud of your mortal body and its constituent parts, wholesome or unwholesome, such as hair or lack of it, perfect vision or impaired vision, six-pack, or a potbelly, fingers--dextrous or clumsy. The list is unending, which gives us joy, satisfaction, and several opportunities to celebrate this sublime emotion of pride anywhere, everywhere, anytime, or all the time.

Never mind Mark Twain's ramblings, such as, "Human pride is not worthwhile; there is always something lying in wait to take the wind out of it." To which my answer is, "There is always something worthwhile that can fill our heads with hot air."