Taking Pride

In a group today, i noticed one participant wearing a badge saying ‘Pride in the NHS‘, our much loved and occasionally exasperated National Health Service. The NHS is a hot political potato, as well as a subject of division between different user groups. When i asked him about the badge, he explained his own journey: originally being a little wary of wearing it, but slowly feeling more of a groundswell of opinion until, at some point, he realised the pride outweighed the cost. Then he unpinned it from his lapel and gave it to me.


I’ll wear the badge tomorrow, at the conference session i’m delivering: as a gift and a statement. Because the thing about pride is that it’s transferrable and infectious.

It’s worth a little reflection: what are you proud of?

In three weeks time or so, i’ll write my thousandth blog post, which will definitely be something that i’m proud of. But i’m also proud of individual posts i’ve written. I’m particularly proud of one of my books. I’m proud when my friends are successful, when other people succeed, even though there’s no tangible benefit to me. Pride is unusual: it can be invisible, it can evolve, it can be lost or grown, it can be transferred, but i doubt if it can be sold or bought.

Gangs engender pride, but so does the military, so it can’t have a moral aspect… except that we are proud when people do something good to others, and lose that pride (or have it dented) when we are betrayed. So it must operate by internal rules: both sides in a conflict can be proud.

When we fail to be proud, we feel we could do better, but maybe when we find our pride, we strive for more: to share and amplify it. Pride likes company, although it’s not afraid to stand up in a room by itself. We talk about the Gay Pride movement, or playing it Loud and Proud, both of which imply vocal agreement and amplification, but we can also be secretly proud: I’m very proud of what one of my friends is doing right now, but i won’t tell her, because she’ll laugh at me.

Surely we should strive to be proud of our work, or rediscover our pride if we have lost it? Pride is incredibly important, but almightily elusive.

About julianstodd

Author, Artist, Researcher, and Founder of Sea Salt Learning. My work explores the context of the Social Age and the intersection of formal and social systems.
This entry was posted in Achievement and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Taking Pride

  1. Pingback: Handshakes | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  2. Jon Kidd says:

    Wow- so much to chew on here.
    Pride makes a HUGE difference in teams and their success.
    Trouble is it also has -ve associations now – alongside conceit…
    I’m ex Royal Navy, and pride is a great differentiator in terms of achieving extraordinary results.
    Sadly lacking in many organisations today.
    Delighted to see someone standing up for the NHS – they deserve respect and support!
    So much more to discuss….

  3. Pingback: Microcosm | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  4. Pingback: Castles in the Sky | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  5. Pingback: Midnight Cowboy | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  6. Pingback: The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women: Proud Mentorship | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  7. Pingback: Boston: Strong & Proud | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  8. Pingback: Change Curve: The Antibody Effect | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  9. Pingback: Change Curve: Co-Creating and Co-Owning Change Stories | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  10. Pingback: Canada: The Relativity of Success | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  11. Pingback: Who Owns The Conversations? | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  12. Pingback: A State Of Radical Complexity | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  13. Pingback: The Comedy of Equality | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  14. Pingback: Aggregated Cultural Failure | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  15. Pingback: The Post Hoc Rationalisation Fallacy | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  16. Pingback: Innovation and Culture | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  17. Pingback: Early Stage Writing: ‘The Humble Leader’ #WorkingOutLoud | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  18. Pingback: Ecosystem change & Organisational Design [part 1] | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  19. Pingback: Engaging Power [2]: Gangs | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  20. Pingback: Pragmatic Dissonance: Communities of Difference and the Limitations of Consensus | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  21. Pingback: Reframing Brexit | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.