Happiness without Pride is Possible… and Better

A lot of defenders of Pinoy Pride are insisting that pride is necessary for happiness. I believe this is based on a lot of misconceptions about happiness. Much of people’s concepts are being formed by popular culture. For example, the Pinoy Pride culture promotes boasting a fellow Filipino is a better boxer than another. If the Filipino boxer wins, it is a source of pride, and thus a source of happiness. If the Filipino boxer loses, the other Filipinos get depressed. This demonstrates the folly of basing one’s happiness on another’s fortune.

It’s time to shatter Filipinos’ wrong ideas and beliefs about happiness and replace them with the truer, more right concept that happiness can exist without pride. These principles I propose will explain how this kind of happiness is possible.

1. Understand that loving oneself is not pride. Pride is different from often confused with self-love. What is pride then? I’d define it was when one wants to feel higher than others. Filipinos demonstrate that in their approach to pride. And it’s a big part of the problem. For example, they ride on someone else’s success to claim it as their own. That is a poor source of happiness, because the truth is, it’s not your success. It’s not your victory, so it’s like stealing credit.

Another aspect of wanting to feel higher than others includes wanting the others to feel lower than you. It’s either win-lose, there’s no win-win. This is what much of Pinoy Pride is based on; if the Filipino wins, the opponent loses. If I must be happy, they must be sad. My happiness comes at the cost of others. This is the kind of thinking which leads to lack of respect for other people and is wrong. Based on this, we can consider Pinoy Pride unethical. Or simply wrong. You can love yourself without needing to be higher than others. If Filipinos only drop the desire to win all the time, their lives will be much happier.

In Christian teaching, there’s the so-called “second great commandment” that says “love others as you love yourself.” Note, as and not more than or over. Yes, it is right to love oneself. Maintain a healthy level of self-esteem; that’s another word for the concept of self-love I use here. But you don’t need to make up or find a reason to love yourself. Just love yourself, mindful of the balance with others.

2. Accept that you can’t have everything you want. Because in life, you may not need everything you want, and sometimes, what you want can actually harm you in the end. Have the proper type of contentment. Being content does not mean acceptance of mediocrity. It’s just acceptance of the real limitations of life. The reason why some are unhappy is because they choose to desire things that they should not desire. For example, you have a wife already, stop lusting for another’s wife. Another is having an iPhone like your neighbor, or “keeping up with the Joneses,” not being not as “rich” as someone else, and so it goes. If you compare yourself to others, with the insistence that you should be the same as them, you will feel more miserable.

3. Don’t base your happiness on control. People want to find control in some things, like when they try to control other people, and believe they can be happy when things go their way. But it doesn’t always happen that way. There are many things that are out of our control; but people feel that they should be in control of this. The Secret, for example, falsely claims that people can control the universe; reality disproves this and people become sad. The desire for control can also lead to abuse. And there is a lot of wisdom that says, delights can come from surprises. Accept that there are things that you can’t control, and you will be better able to deal with life.

4. There’s nothing wrong with being unhappy or sad. Filipinos are afraid of showing unhappiness, because they believe it’s wrong to do so. But it isn’t. Things happen, there are problems. It’s normal to feel unhappy. Of course, it would be wrong to dwell on it and make it the basis of your life. Being unhappy is part of life, and no one dies from being unhappy, or is a grump or immoral person when they are unhappy.

Sip tea when you see others rage over nothing

Another “of course,” is that you should be happy or sad about the right things. If you’re unhappy about refugees being abused or if a pedophile is targeting your daughter, you have a right to that. But if you’re happy someone you dislike (even if they did nothing to you) is undergoing misfortune, like if they tripped and you laughed or got fired unfairly, that is certainly the wrong way to be happy.

5. Accept that happiness itself, being pleased or “good feeling” is not a solution. The problem with Filipinos is that they believe showing off happiness is a solution to problems. Trying to fake happiness while avoiding the mountains of problems. Force yourself to feel good, it’ll heal. But I doubt that always works. Feelings can be deceptions. Faking it is bad medicine (or not medicine at all, it’s poison). You’re better off accepting the truth, being honest about things and not making any pretenses, since these can be shattered later like a glass mask.

Stop overrating happiness or feeling good. Happiness is not the do-all and end-all of life. It is simply one of the components that mold us as we go through the journey that is called life. As FallenAngel implies in their article, do we need to be happy all the time? Indeed, there are many articles saying happiness is overrated, and the pursuit of it can lead to more depression. There are other resources, such as one saying one should seek fulfillment instead of happiness. Just “google” them.

6. Accept that you’re just one among billions of people and you’re nothing special. Pride is based on the idea that one is unique, one is special, so they can lord it over others. No, you share the world with other people, you learn to live with them as equals. Thus, pride as in winning over others is based on inequality. Today, the most modern and civilized societies accept that people should be seen as equals; no one is greater or lesser. Thus, one who seeks pride seeks inequality that is the product of a condemnable mentality.

insignificant-in-a-galaxy

And related to the first tip I gave above, I decided to add something new (in July 2017) after pondering:

7. You don’t need to find any reason to love yourself. Just love yourself! I once read about the origins of Mr. Terrific, who after achieving a lot of things, he thought that there was nothing more to life and contemplated suicide. So he became a superhero afterwards, but only after entertaining one of the dumbest thoughts ever. It meant Mr. Terrific failed to love himself. He probably that the idea that you need something to qualify your life; otherwise, you should not be alive. That actually goes against the right to life.

Does life need achievement or any embellishment to make it worthwhile? No. Do you need a reason to live? No. Just live! Sometimes, people find that they are alive without a reason, and find it a curse. You have no reason, so you are useless and must be removed. No! If you are alive without a reason, it is a blessing. A life means a chance to do things. Either find your purpose or make it.

8. Don’t seek the approval or validatino of others. I believe this is one of the cruxes on why people become unhappy. Many seek to please others or indulge in vanity and pride to get others’ attention: they feel that need this to “qualify” their life. If others do not give their approval, there there is no reason to live. Not only that; some people tend to place themselves as “approvers” over others. They want to sanction or coerce other people based on their approval or disapproval of them. This is wrong. People do not need any approval to live. Like I said above: don’t try to look for an overwhelming reason to feel good about yourself, just feel good.

Now some may say, what about laws against killing or prohibiting people, aren’t those approval? No. These are needed to help stop people from destroying themselves and others. They are not meant to represent people’s personal approval of others. They are practical applications of principles of integrity and respect for life.

I believe one cause of conflict is that people seek to impose their approval on others. At first, people seek others’ approval, i.e. they want to please others. It goes the other way as well, that they want people to please them or they want to impose their approval or disapproval of others. And if they don’t get this imposition, they may strike out and hurt or kill others. It has led to this destructive quest that made the world the mess, namely the quest to control others.

In a way, when people try to kill or steal, they are not approving of others’ lives or things, so they set themselves up as disapprovers. Wanting to impose approval or disapproval is a mode of control-freakness, when people believe that they should have control over another person or even just an aspect of their lives. The worst level is when they want to control the world, hence wars and violent disputes. People don’t have a right to this. You may approve or disapprove of something about other people in your head, but it is not your right to impose it. Seeking to impose approval or disapproval of others is a cause of unhappiness in the world. Humanity does not owe approval or validation to each other, and can live without them.

Pride is a Roadblock to Happiness

And we go to the basic lesson here: pride is not a source of true happiness, in fact, it is a hindrance. The desire to win over others creates insecurity over the fear of losing. Thus, there is greater risk of actually being unhappy when you are in competition with someone. If you are in competition with someone, seeing them as an enemy of sorts, you tend to mistrust them. The better policy is sharing how you feel good about yourself with others, like sharing your hobbies and interests, hoping they feel better too. Instead of winning over others, win them over.

So what should you do that makes you happy? Maybe, have a hobby. A 2016 article says hobbies make people happier. You don’t need pride in a hobby. You can be self-satisfied by working with your hands.

Pride certainly is one of the most difficult things to control. Humans seem wired to puff up with pride. But if one puts careful thought… and careful heart… to it, they can have a happier and more fulfilled life without it.

(New stuff added July 19, 2017)

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About ChinoF

I stick with this blog because I believe, as my cohorts do, that many things Filipino embrace as part of their culture keep their society backward. And blogging freely to show that in a truly decent society, with true freedom of speech, even nobodies have a voice.

Post Author: ChinoF

I stick with this blog because I believe, as my cohorts do, that many things Filipino embrace as part of their culture keep their society backward. And blogging freely to show that in a truly decent society, with true freedom of speech, even nobodies have a voice.

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42 Comments on "Happiness without Pride is Possible… and Better"

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Aeta
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Filipinos really don’t know what it means to live a humble and simple life, and to be content with what they have. Here is a parable that I hope will inspire them to change their self-servinng and arrogant ways that are destroying their country and relationship with one another: The Story of the Mexican Fisherman (Written by Courtney Carver) This is the story that started the “be more with less” movement for me. While I knew all work and no play wasn’t the way, I thought I would forever be stuck in the cycle of working to live. I thought… Read more »
44Hayden007Toro999.9999
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44Hayden007Toro999.9999

Happiness is a Choice. Pride , especially false pride is insecurity.

Tie yourself to a Goal, not to people , objects, materials, etc… and you will be happy. Be content with what you have. However, improving yourself, is another key to happiness…

Aeta
Guest
44Hayden007Toro999.9999, Any form of emotion is fleeting. It’s here this moment and gone the next. Pride–however good or bad, false or true–is just food for our insatiable “ego” in order to keep validating its existence. Goals are endless. You reach one and you want to set another; it’s another source of food for our “egos.” I’ve always enjoyed using this example when it comes to pride and setting life goals that most of us believed to be the important things in our lives. Try not being able to eat or drink for a few hours, a few days, maybe even… Read more »
18Toro007Hayden9.999
Guest

@Aeta:

Your Goals are your Choices in life. You can choose to be a “istambay”. Or choose, to better yourself, thru education. You can choose to achieve; or choose to deceive yourself. You can choose to be an OFW, like me, and earn money (U.S. dollar, for me), or stay in the Philippines, with “crab mentality”, become a star struck ignoramus,etc…

You cannot achieve anything with pride.
Pride is deceiving yourself that your are, what you are not. Self respect is a good thing, not pride…

Aeta
Guest
18Toro007Hayden9.999, There is nothing wrong with improving yourself through education and training, and pursuing your goals. However, you still have to keep in mind that you have a legal, moral, and ethical responsibilities, on the impact of what you’re trying to pursue in life, to the planet and the people around you; and, that responsibility is to make as little or no adverse impact to both earth and its inhabitant as much as possible. That is not what is happening in the Philippines and its people. Everyone seem to have this “every man for himself” and “take it before someone… Read more »
Robert Haighton
Member
Aeta, What do you think people will do when they win the lottery/jackpot (or when they have earned enough money before retirement/pension starts)? Most people (not all) will make a trip around the world, start playing golf, buying a second home in a hedonistic country, drink a little, maybe even divorce their wife or husband. And maybe the smartest people will want to double or triple that money so that their kids will have a comfortable future. Having money means freedom and being able to do what one wants. Lets imagine, a 35 year old woman wins the jackpot (in… Read more »
Aeta
Guest
Robert Haighton, I don’t know the correct answer to your question on what do I think people would do if they had the money. However, I do know what I’ll do. I’ll do exactly–or something similar–to what this Mexican fisherman has done. Live for the moment. In my case it’s just spending more time with my wife and kids, watching a good movie or reading a book, and have the time to do what I want or could afford to do with my loved ones and the people who matter in my life. I’ve always been the type of guy… Read more »
Robert Haighton
Member
Aeta, So the (emotional and physical) love is gone but you decide to stay together bec of the money (its cheaper). I always wonder how such a couple sleep at night, next to each other in one bed? Out of principle, I would leave her or I will ask her to leave me (which ever is cheaper). At such moments, nothing keeps us together anymore. No common ground, no love, the kids are mature. It sounds a bit strange to me you want to spend more time with your wife while all that connects you 2 together is the cheapness… Read more »
Aeta
Guest
Robert Haighton, Man, you’ve completely misconstrued my words and bent them out of shape. “It’ll be cheaper for both of us to keep each other” is an old American idiom that parallels another idiom, “it’s cheaper to keep her,” and I used it as a joke to liven up my comment. Why would I say I enjoyed spending time with my wife and kids if I didn’t love her? Look, I don’t know about your previous relationships with women, or how many times you’ve gotten dumped on and ended up in the gutters licking your wounds, but I wouldn’t stay… Read more »
Robert Haighton
Member

Aeta,
Probably I mis-read your literal words. My apologies for that.

I never dump (nor dumped) people. I end (or she ends) the relationship after trying to mend it multiple times (usually by talking and talking about one or 2 problems).

Aeta
Guest

Robert Haighton,

No problem, brother. Just to give you a heads up. My bashing of the Filipino people, to wake them up to the reality of what’s going on around them, is by no means a reflection of me and how I feel about the Philippines.

I love the Philippines and I love my people. I just hate the Filipinos’ self-serving and aristocratic/arrogant ways that destroy the country and their relationships with each other.

Take Care and I do enjoy/appreciate reading your comments.

Regards,

Aeta

Robert Haighton
Member
Aeta, My comments my sound harsh sometimes or always. They may sound that way out of frustration (on my part). My intentions are always good (although some may doubt that and I even understand that doubt). The fact that people may wash their own clothes (doing the laundry) in a different way, is something I can and will adjust to (even when it is inefficiently done) but there is no day passing by that EVERYthing goes smoothly in your country. The funniest thing of all is that passing through NAIA was always a party for me. While a lot of… Read more »
Aeta
Guest

Robert Haighton,

Your comment isn’t harsh at all. At least not to me. I understand people do their laundries their own ways, and Filipinos are no exception.

However, my people have been doing their own laundry for far too long–without checking their methods, against current and conventional mode, to see if theirs is still applicable–and have already convinced themselves that their method is right while other methods are wrong, that’s it’s actually causing everybody around them more harm (including themselves) than good.

This is what is happening to my country and people today.

Aeta

Robert Haighton
Member

Aeta,
the how doing the laundry was just an example. But it shocked me greatly when I saw a young woman doing the laundry manually (at my GF’s parents house). Since I am born, I am used to see washing machines. So that was one big adjustment on my part.

Well I am sure their way works and all the laundry gets cleaned probably the same way our clothes. Only your way cost much more time. Time that we dont want to waste on cleaning our clothes.

Money will not make me happy/happier but money makes life much more comfortable.

Aeta
Guest
Robert Haighton, I can relate to what you’re saying about being shocked at seeing for the first time a young woman doing the laundry manually. I, too, spent most of my younger years and early adulthood in the states, where I’ve gotten used to using the washing machine and dryer to clean my clothes. I was born and spent the early part of my life in the Philippines, where I’ve been exposed to this manual-type of labor. So, doing laundry by hand–or any manual labor that can easily be completed by a household machine if availabe-is a no-schocker. Try sharing… Read more »
Robert Haighton
Member

Aeta,
Thank god (no pun intented), I never expierenced eating a meal while standing in water.
But eating a meal using hands, yes I witnessed that. We use knife, fork and spoon (obviously).
And eating a meal while the rice workers are also in the parental house, is also something I am not used to. Dutch factory workers have their own place to eat. They dont eat in the same canteen as the white collar employers/employees.

The Philippines is always one big experience.

On one hand its a funny country, on the other its a country that leads to a lot of frustration (in me).

Sick_Amore
Guest

@Robert, If I’m that woman, I’ll definitely just take what I need (save some for my retirement or insurance, give some to family member who’ll use it to start a business, education of nephews and nieces since I don’t have a children of my own yet, buy land to start a tree farm. I don’t need much I have a job to support myself) and use the rest of the money for scholarship program, support local innovative projects and small business grants. In short use that money to plant seeds that will grow into a forest.

Robert Haighton
Member

ChinoF,
“For example, you have a wife already, stop lusting for another’s wife.”

I am waiting for the day that my best friend’s wife (unfortunately she is very ugly) is lusting for me.

Why do most PH people always write such sentences from the male perspective? You make it sound like as if NO women can lust for a man. Well, pls wake up and pls get real.

Robert Haighton
Member
ChinoF, I was talking about sex, unadulterated sex. Based on satisfying one’s libido. Pls let me tell you a little story. I once asked my GF (now ex) if she ever got caught in a situation that a man/guy entered her bus/train/metro (whatever) and upon seeing him she said to herself “wow, I really want to …… (fuck his brains out)”. (Probably he looked like Justin Bieber, Leonardo DiCaprio or Brad Pitt or a Filipino hunk). Her answer was: “No”. Her answer may look and sound very sweet but for me it was hard to digest. Almost an unhuman response.… Read more »
CCC
Guest
@Robert Libido is a human nature, regardless of gender it will be felt. Men are visual people so it is easier for them to be aroused ( just by looking at a pretty girl sometimes) than women, maybe that is why you gf said no to your answer. Sometimes girls admire good looking guys without thinking sex. As for me i do admire sexy beautiful women but i tend to look away because im a woman myself and i know how it feels to be oogled at. Filipino culture is somewhat close minded about women sexuality, here is our culture,… Read more »
Tani
Guest
“To be of use to the world is the only way to be happy” -Hans Christian Andersen Mavuhay! I am a full-blooded pinoy, residing in the small kingdom of Denmark since I was 15, that was 24 years ago. I’ve been eagerly reading posts here, most of them I agree with. I find it very helpful in my self-realization and awareness and I really wish more filipinos will do too. Anyways, reading this blog, I can’t help comparing the pinoy mentality against how they think this side of the world. I’m not out to bash my own people, though I… Read more »
Aeta
Guest

ChinoF,

A lot of what you’ve said in your article connotes a Buddhist’s perspective in life. I know you’re a Christian based on some of your biblical quotes.

Aeta

d_forsaken
Guest

The cure is as simple as this: Live your words and live your belief system.

What you do defines you.

Aeta
Guest

d_forsaken,

Exactly. Stop talking about your beliefs. Instead, just live your beliefs; you’ll convince more people that way. Live by the same slogan that Nike shoe company lives by: “Just Do It.”

Aeta