September and October mark the time of year when Contemporary Pagans celebrate Pagan Pride, either as affiliates of the Pagan Pride Project or in independant festivals. This year, a discussion about how to frame these events both for ourselves and with others, has led your Pagan Values Month host and ocassional blogger from here and there, to wonder about Pride…
“Pride is an inward directed (feeling) emotion that exemplifies either an inflated sense of one’s personal status or the specific, mostly-positive emotion that is a product of praise or independent self-reflection. Philosophers and social psychologists have noted that pride is a complex secondary emotion which requires the development of a sense of self and the mastery of relevant conceptual distinctions (e.g., that pride is distinct from happiness and joy) through language-based interaction with others. Some social psychologists identify it as linked to a signal of high social status. One definition of pride in the first sense comes from St. Augustine: “the love of one’s own excellence”. In this sense, the opposite of pride is either humility or guilt; the latter in particular being a sense of one’s own failure in contrast to Augustine’s notion of excellence.
Pride is sometimes viewed as excessive or as a vice, sometimes as proper or as a virtue. While some philosophers such as Aristotle (and George Bernard Shaw) consider pride a profound virtue, most world religions consider it a sin, such as the Old Testament of the Bible used by Christians and Jews, in Proverbs 11:2.”
~From Wikipedia entry on Pride, 10:50am 9/01/11
I find it interesting that Aristotle is mentioned as having thought Pride a Virtue, although given the general emphasis upon Excellence in Ancient Greek culture I don’t find it to surprising as a proper Pride in ones accomplishments would be understandable – as long as one avoided the dreaded hubris!
But if Pride is a Virtue, that begs the question…
“What are we proud of?”
What in our Pagan communities, what in our past, what activities and initiatives in the present, what makes us proud. What are we doing for the future that fills us with Pride? I hope you will join me in exploring these issues, dear Pagani.
PS- if you feel moved to post or podcast your own thoughts on this topic, feel free to comment on this post and link to your own thoughts on the matter!