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.
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.
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