I believe in the right to be proud of yourself.

Marie - Denmark
Entered on April 4, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in taking pride in yourself. By this I don’t mean boasting whenever you do anything well, or putting other people down because they didn’t do as well as you, I mean acknowledging the fact that you did something well, when that happens. If you earn a good grade on a school project, or a piece of artwork you have created, it’s okay to be happy about it. It’s okay to think “Wow, I did a good job on this, and I can be proud.”

Even though this is something I believe in, it’s still something I’m learning how to do; I’m not very good at taking pride in my work. If I do something well, I’m not good at handling it. I’m not very good at accepting compliments or taking pride in my work. I think part of this comes from the little comments people sometimes make, the little put-downs, said only because they didn’t do as well as you. That is one of the worst things I know – putting someone down, punishing them for taking pride in what they do, or even just doing a good job. Teasing someone who maybe didn’t do as well as the rest, that’s just as bad. Everybody works and lives on their own level. Some may be smarter than others but everybody should be allowed to be happy just being who they are.

I think this attitude of taking pride in yourself comes from my family, both the belief the difficulty of really taking pride in yourself. My grandparents are extremely modest people, to the point of it being a problem. It’s so deeply rooted in them that just giving them the smallest compliment will make them blush and try to avoid it, or hand the glory over to someone else. I think this is where part of my difficulty in being proud comes from; to some extent of course, modesty is good, but you also need to be able to be proud of yourself and your achievements. My parents on the other hand, my mother having grown up with this humbleness and sort of rebelled, have almost the opposite attitude. They’re not boastful, or overly prideful, but I’m pretty sure they do think it’s okay and important to every once in a while be proud of what you achieved. I know my mum in particular agrees with me, that one of the worst things is putting people down because they did what they were supposed to do, and did it well.

I recently finished a project that for me had been really interesting. I actually enjoyed working on it, and put a lot of effort into it. So naturally when it was time for grades, I hoped that I had done well; I had, and I did feel really proud. It’s a great feeling, knowing you’ve done well and being recognized for it. I don’t think anyone has the right to take that feeling away from you, to hold you down or limit you out of jealousy or pettiness.

The right to be proud of what you have achieved. In this I believe.