Learnings, Mali
Comment 1

on pride, and being a Fraud Generalist

There is a kind of pride that comes from recognition–for a job well done, or something you’ve created or produced. it’s exciting, validating, even motivating.

Mali farmer woman child field agriculture rural

But sometimes, in my case, that kind of pride is tainted with self-doubt. I cross my fingers hoping no one notices the cracks in the veneer, or the chips in the paint–the little defects that eat away at a sense of accomplishment. I duck out of the limelight because I figure if anyone got to the bottom of things, they’d realize i’m a Fraud Generalist at Life.


It’s hard to take a big bite out of recognition; I’d rather nibble a bit, in case it turns out I don’t actually deserve what’s coming to me.

Mali rural field agriculture farmer training woman

But – but! – there is another sort of pride that is more buoying, and exhilarating: the pride that comes from contributing to someone else’s success.


That kind of pride is my favorite, because it involves the ego-once-removed. if you’ve been a part of someone else’s journey to accomplishment, whether setting the stage, plotting the course, pushing (or dragging) them over a hump, or just holding their hand along the way–it’s a kind of satisfaction that can’t be replicated.


There’s no need to doubt the validity of the success, because you can see it plainly without a self-imposed Fog of Fraud. You are proud of them, thrilled even, and free to revel in your own contribution, and share in their contentment.


Photos from a field visit to a peanut farmer in Sanambele village, south of Bamako, Mali


1 Comment

  1. Pingback: on knowing a place | outerNotes

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