The title of this blog is actually song lyrics. Yes, song lyrics. We always thought it was funny, that song. I think it came out in the 1980s when, let's face it, the world was a different place. Tycoons and high-achievers were celebrated more than they are now. It was just the culture of America then.
Having spent a little time in the Deep South, I've become aware of what a sin it is to think highly of yourself. And by highly, I mean, having what I consider to be healthy self-esteem.
This trait really conflicts with the overall American idea of a healthy self-image.
I recall some people displaying a lot of frustration with me, yet being unable to explain why. I got a cryptic message from one of them via email about how I needed to "change my ways." I changed my ways, all right, and quit talking to her. But I'm sure that my response ignited her fury. I basically asked, "What ways of mine need changing and why? How are you qualified to judge me and my ways and tell me they are wrong?" Which is a nice way of saying, Buzz off, a-hole.
Listen, I don't think I'm perfect, but I am trying to be a good person every day. It's just that I was judged and scrutinized so much growing up that I choose not to carry on that pattern, while some think it's their duty to do this to others. Aside from horrible crimes against others who do not consent to be involved with your schemes, believe me, if you are making choices for yourself that only affect yourself and the people who choose to associate with you, I don't need to weigh in with an opinion. I don't think it's my business.
I think that's where the disconnect happens for me and some of the churchier folk I meet. Some people love it when you accept them and their beliefs, but they don't want you to extend that acceptance toward anyone else who believes something that they don't believe. And they sure as hell don't want you to believe whatever you want; they want you to believe what they believe, because it's "right" and everything else is "wrong."
The concept of pridefulness has always baffled me. It's kind of like the myth of Icarus. Fly too close to the ground, you crash. Fly too close to the sun, your wings fall apart and then you crash. Only the ones who fly in this one accepted zone can make it safely to their destination.
It encourages all these churchy types to blend in; nobody should stand out because that's prideful. You're not allowed to be proud of yourself and your accomplishments because that means you're bragging on yourself. This totally flies in the face of a few things: American culture, pride in a job well done, the concept of mentoring people along their paths, and overall self-expression.
I don't get it. Part of me wants to try to understand, while a bigger part of me is glad to have escaped an environment where people were really concerned with stuff like this.
I wish you the best of weeks ahead, friends. This past week was a difficult one and I hope things will calm down, both on the news and in our lives.