Proud to be an American? Why?

Proud to be from Texas. Proud to live in the greatest city on earth (fill in the name of city). Proud to be white. Proud to be a man, but prouder to be a woman. Proud to be Irish, Black, Hispanic, Polish, Greek, Jewish, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Christian, Hindu, Muslim … whatever, it doesn’t matter.

What makes you proud of an accident of birth? Are you proud to be alive? Human? Proud you aren’t dead of disease, starvation, natural disaster, or war?

I am not proud to be an American. I am glad to be an American, happy that I am free to live in a beautiful place and have a home in this valley. I love the United States. I think it’s fundamentally a great nation which, if we stopped screwing around, would be an even greater one. But proud?


I’m proud of things I’ve written, some things I’ve done, and ashamed of others. I’m proud of what I’ve earned. I’m not proud of the gifts I was given at birth, but I am deeply grateful that I was lucky enough to receive them.

I am proud of my country’s achievements, but ashamed and embarrassed by other things we’ve done. I believe our Constitution is one of the great legal documents. That we so often fail to live up to it saddens me, but at least we had founders who weren’t airheads or mass murderers, a burden other nations bear.

Pride implies you actively participated or contributed to whatever makes you proud. I don’t think being born qualifies. If you exist, you were born. Birth gets you get a ticket to the starting line. A chance to run the race. To breathe. After that, it’s up to you.

So I’m glad to be an American. I’m happy I was born here. Nothing was required of me. If Mom had been Mexican or Turkish? Then I’d be proud to be Turkish or  Mexican.

Does this attitude make me unpatriotic? I don’t think so, but you are welcome to think what you like. I believe love of country should be tempered by discrimination, the realization that nations, like people, don’t always do the right thing.

We aren’t special by reason of birth. Being proud of where you were born is meaningless.

Categories: Daily Prompt, Patriotism, Personal

Tags: , , , , ,

21 replies

  1. I think that sometime in the past, definitely during one of my 3 a.m. insomnia episodes when I solve world problems with my over-active mind, I am sure my mind sped across a similar thought and then forgot all about it as my thoughts typically do when they are aroused and unconstrained. I am so glad that your mind stopped and grabbed that thought and wrote very eloquently about it! Loved it! 😀


  2. Love how you differentiate between pride and gratitude. Following up on your reasoning: I’m grateful to be an American. I’m proud that we have maintained some civility, preserved Democracy and evolved as a nation. Thanks for a great read.


  3. I’m HAPPY to be here, visiting with you in cyberspace, living in a warm and comfortable home in Central Maine, USA. Happy to have had the chance to meet Marilyn Armstrong in the flesh. Love the new look of your blog. You have plenty to be proud of, my friend! 🙂


    • Thanks Bette. You have plenty to be proud of too and I hope next time we are up your way, we’ll get to spend a little more time together. I’m pretty sure we’ll be there but I’m not sure exactly when yet. I should know pretty soon, though. Hugs!!!


  4. Exactly, Marilyn. I, too, am glad to be an American. And grateful. But proud? That just doesn’t make sense.


    • I guess it depends on ones definition of “proud” and “pride,” but by my definitions, why would anyone be proud of an accident of birth? Happy, grateful … but proud? Maybe if you floated here on a raft from Cuba …


  5. Pride the same as hubris? I will mull that one over. I do like this post and all the back and forths.


    • Pride IS hubris. It was always the downfall of the heroes of Greek and Roman mythology. It’s still the downfall of many people today. You just have to watch TV. How many pols and stars think that the rules don’t apply to them because they are special somehow? “The favored of the god …”


  6. Okay, I’m GLAD to be a Brooklyn, NY native where once a team called the Dodgers played at a lovely old park called Ebbets Field. My love of baseball began there and it’s become a life long passion. Now, I’m PROUD to be a member of Red Sox Nation.


  7. PS. Someone is feeling restless with all the snow and changing themes again. 🙂


    • I really LIKED my theme, but it was very buggy. It was not behaving itself. That’s the last time I pay for anything from WordPress!

      It actually is not (yet) snowing. We are at the far southern end of the snow zone, so there is a small chance this one might miss us, at least partially. We hope!!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Ahahahaha! I had this exact same conversation in email with someone a few weeks ago. I think it had to do with something I read about “Fat Pride” or something like that. Now, I’m all for *acceptance* but being proud of what you were born with as opposed to something you have done, just bothers me. If you look up “pride” in you get the same kind of definition. So I took your stance.

    My email buddy took the side, best described by Merriam Webster that pride is used to denote a feeling of deserving self-respect (can’t argue with that one) and feeling like you belong to “the best” something.

    Then the emails got caught in the thorns of political correctness where saying anything negative about the terms “Black Pride” or “Gay Pride” (and trickling down to “Fat Pride”) was tantamount to being a bigot. At that point we decided to play Civ IV online. 🙂


    • You mean, there IS Civ IV? I didn’t know. Now THAT’s good news. I’ll have to find it.

      I still maintain that being proud of something that just happened to you is silly. Hubris. But I’m not particularly PC.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh heck, Marilyn, the cool kids are playing Civ V. My computer won’t handle it.


        • My favorite was Caesar I-II-III. Civilization was numero two. I didn’t know they were still making it. Does it still have cheat mode? I loved wiping out other civilizations by cheating. Just like life.


        • You got me. I ordered a DVD with III and IV. I could use V on this machine, but it requires an online connection and I like being able to play games OFF line. If it were ANY other game, I wouldn’t be tempted, but it’s Civilization. Also, I didn’t like the description of V … it sounds like they’ve changed the game a lot, but IV sounds like more or less the same game, just updated graphics. I hope so. I hate when they change the game so much it isn’t the same game at all, just the same name. They did that with SimCity, which I loved until it became entirely about plumbing. This could get me out of blogging. I’m a sucker for this kind of game.


  9. I am Swiss, I am British, I can laugh at both countries, but like the choice because I can laugh and survive.


    • I’ve got dual citizenship too and I’m pleased with both. I’m not sure how or why pride has anything to do with it. I’m proud of surviving insofar as somehow, we are living in a house and doing pretty well and NOT living in our car. Does that count?


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Tish Farrell

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