a mysterious stranger at ask lana asks this mysterious question.
Are you proud of TONY? Notice, I didn’t ask: are you proud of your ACCOMPLISHMENTS, but asked if you’re proud of YOU! Mothers and gods aside; I’m not asking if you are WORTHY of someone’s respect or love or admiration; I’m asking if what you think and feel and believe and how you behave and shit makes YOU proud. Pride doesn’t just come from actions; a lot of it comes from how we THINK; our attitudes, not just our personalities. You can have a great PERSONALITY because you have restraint and know enough not to step on any toes or ruffle any feathers; but!!!!! Attitude is that feeling you have about shit on the INSIDE! Are you proud of THAT? Why or why not?
pride, like jealousy, is foreign to me and always has been. probably since school when i would write or do something that i thought was spectacular and the teacher would say “meh”. at that point i learned whatever alleged “pride” i had didn’t matter in the formula.
also theres this: the few times i have achieved great success it was always a team effort. thus the feeling i had was Fortunate, not Pride. i was lucky to have been on the lake park high school marching band drum line. i was sooooo lucky to write at the daily nexus. and likewise i was so lucky to get hired and then get to run LAist with all the great people i got to work with. all of those so called individual awards or stories or poems or actions were learned from my surroundings or inspired by the spirit. my input was minimal other than staying out of the way of imminent greatness.
when i went to the Times and we were hugely successful, that was a variety of things: an interesting math theory regarding (frequency of posts By talented reporters Plus SEO plus great editing plus timing multiplied by Digg/Reddit). but none of it would have happened if i was not allowed the green light to try it on all of the desks at the paper (luck times patience). the theories derived not from my head but from the total feedback from the Technorati Top 100: boingboing did it, so lets try it. it had little to do with me.
even when i blog something good on this blog or think about this blog as a whole, pride does not factor in because this is merely an evolution of keeping a diary in school in a wired notebook to creating a web site to then using blogger and now wordpress.
is the farmer proud when the seed and water and dirt makes a fruit? no, he thanks God and moves on.
of course there are exceptions. this is the only one i can think of.
while at UCSB, at the Nexus, i was given an internal award from my peers. they voted me the best arts and entertainment writer of the paper my junior year. i was proud because there were probably 10 other people who could have won that. our paper was stacked. we’d win best in state for that section that next year and the next couple of years.
so to be voted positively by the people i respected the most meant more to me than when i won state the next year for the whole section.
because duh we were better than everyone else, but how were we viewed internally: that always fascinated me.