Pride

I like criticism, but it must be my way.“- Mark Twain’s Autobiography

It is heading towards Midnight with a capital M and I really should try to get some sleep but I am wired. Perhaps it is because I know that in a few short hours it will officially be one week since grandpa died. He has moved that much farther away from my present and further into my past.

Grandpa didn’t know that I am moving or about any of the current challenges that are in front of me. That was intentional on my part. Some of it was due to pride but most was due to my not wanting him to worry about things that he couldn’t help me with. He was a generous man and made a point to help people. One of the things that I appreciated about him was that he preferred not to make a big deal out of it. He wasn’t one to look for public recognition of the things that he did to help others which is sort of funny because he liked being the center of attention.

But to quote him when you are at the end stage of the game there are some things that you don’t do so I made a point not to talk to him about these things. I suppose that you can attribute that reluctance on my part to pride- both mine and his. He wasn’t in a position to help me and it would have wounded his pride to discover this. At the same time I was reluctant to ask for any help from anyone so there seemed to be no point in talking to him about any of it.

“No man ever does a duty for duty’s sake but only for the sake of the satisfaction he personally gets out of doing the duty, or for the sake of avoiding the personal discomfort he would have to endure if he shirked that duty; also I indicated that there is no such thing as free will and no such thing as self sacrifice.“- Mark Twain in Eruption

Pride is a funny sort of thing that makes people act unreasonably and illogically. I have been thinking about it quite a bit lately. Some of it is because I am trying to figure out how I got to be where I am so that I can avoid visiting this place again. I want to figure out if pride is part of the reason that I find myself fighting these battles. But I ask myself what happens if I do decide that pride bears some responsibility because pride is also responsible for helping to pull us out of this mess.

Good old pride, the double edged sword- how I love thee.

If I were a more superstitious man I might say that there is a reason why Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd is playing now but I am not that guy. I am just a semi- superstitious man who wishes that he could play the guitar and sing. My daughter would like that. She would love to sit next to me and sing along to whatever I happen to be playing. It doesn’t really have to be guitar, the piano would work just as well. The thing is, that I can’t play piano either- nor can I sing very well.

Hmm…is it just me or did my pride just show its face here again. Not sure about that, but what I can tell you is that I wish both of my grandfathers were here now. They were very different men in many ways but they loved me as I loved them. And moments like now are when I miss them. Moments like now remind me that we developed a friendship that  complemented the grandfather/grandson thing.  But some wishes never are filled and this is one of them. So instead of wishing for what I can’t have I am working on a number of things that I can.

Most of those are things that are good for others but a few are for me and me alone.

It is time for bed but the thought I focus on now is that people don’t remember what you do but how you made them feel. My goal this weekend is to make people feel good.

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11 Comments

  1. TheJackB August 15, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    @psychicjazz It is a cliche, but life really is about the journey and a big part of that is the learning that we do along the way.

  2. psychicjazz August 15, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Jack..the thing I love about your articles — is that it brings up questions I typically would not have thought about…even going through this journey of self-awareness and letting go…there is still much to learn! 😉

  3. TheJackB August 13, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    @marianne.worley The wedding is tomorrow and I really should get to bed so that I can get up way too early for it. 😉

    Pride really is a double-edged sword.I have the same challenge as you- not big on asking for help when I need it.

  4. TheJackB August 13, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    @Pocket Perspectives Hi PP, welcome to the blog. I just like to exchange thoughts and memories with others. I find people to be fascinating. Hope you come visit again, always appreciate new visitors and old.

  5. TheJackB August 13, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    @Sandi Amorim Hi Sandi. I think that it is great that you had a relationship with your Nonna. That bond really is indescribable and it is something that I think is simply amazing.

    Hold onto those memories, they really are among the best we have.

  6. TheJackB August 13, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    @BetsyKCross Hi Betsy. I am more frustrated by stories and experiences like this than almost anything else. Really, the people who should be most supportive of us are sometimes the worst.

    I am a big believer in melding intuition and reason together to make decisions. Hope you had a great Saturday.

  7. marianne.worley August 13, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    Pride is the double-edged sword. Sometimes it prevents me from asking for help. At other times, it helps me build confidence in the quality work I’m doing.

    I hope the wedding was filling with joy and promise. (I’m sure you’ll tell us later.)

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  9. Pocket Perspectives August 13, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Your ideas are so special….loss, love, pride, cherishing others each moment…so much in this one post ….thank you.

  10. Sandi Amorim August 13, 2011 at 7:51 am

    Jack,

    This post makes my heart hurt just a little bit as I remember my relationship with my maternal grandmother, my Nonna. We had a special bond, she and I…I’m not sure I’d call it friendship though. I don’t think there was a word for it. I was blessed to be asked to read the eulogy at her funeral, then surprised by some of the reactions I received from relatives. Not having had the same relationship with her, they were envious which came out a little twisted that day. Not sure how this memory relates to pride right now, but it just came bubbling up to the surface as I read about your relationship with your grandfather. Special.

  11. BetsyKCross August 13, 2011 at 2:19 am

    Hi Jack!

    For so long I listened and shrank inside as friends, family and acquaintances would dissect my life bit by bit and try to teach me about the rules and how not to “mess things up”. They’d say if you do this then this then this, life will work. And in a way they were right. But I started noticing that they were living careful lives. And they wanted me to be careful, too. Risk and failure is a disease to them. I am a disease to them. There were a few people who didn’t see me as someone to be pitied but as someone who dug deep for courage and determination. Funny but I group people into 2 categories now- those who will always warn but have never personally been there, and those who’ve been there, smile and laugh knowingly (like your grandparents) and praise you for living fully, taking risks and staying the course. I refuse to listen to the first group anymore. Pride, to me is not listening to God who always sees the big picture and NEVER tells you you’ve screwed up. He just asks, “Are we having fun, yet?” So I listen to Him and know I’m not prideful I’m just wading through the negativity that a fearful world dishes up ’cause it wants more members at its table!

    Thanks for listening to the rant! Happy Saturday.

    Betsy

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