I have already written much on the point that Da Pinoy’s attempt at projecting Pinoy Pride has only served to shoot oneself in the foot. The more Da Pinoy tries to project pride, the more Da Pinoy actually earns shame. Da Pinoys are probably saying, “enough of the shame already, please!” They’re probably sick of hearing me call out against Pinoy Pride, asking them to put a lid on it or at least tone it down by a great deal (Or perhaps they’re just too emotional and easily hurt even if they shouldn’t be). I’m sure I’ve earned the ire of people for my anti-pride remarks. Perhaps they’re wondering if I have anything better to do.
But I still say pride deflators are still necessary. Why?
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Because they still don’t get it. Pride deflating events will continue as long as Filipinos fail to mend their ways.
Basic principle: all the failures and mistakes of our lives are there to remind us of what will happen if we do something wrong and that we should do our best to avoid them and do the right thing. Pride-deflators are part of life. They show us our mistakes. They all teach us that pride can be a real problem. In literature, nearly all classic fictional stories that portray the human condition highlight pride as a common cause of tragedy and disaster.
But why is pride so bad? People really need to be proud, right? Nothing bad happens anyway when one is proud, right?
Wrong. Pride, hubris, arrogance, can lead to actions that harm others. Isn’t Rolando Mendoza’s hostage act itself proof of that? Or Senator Tito Sotto’s futile defense of his plagiarism? Of course, I can say that pride led to the Carabuena slap, or the incident with the woman ranting in the LRT (perhaps it’s also bad pride to refuse the bag check at the LRT station) and those who attacked her online. They are all a reflection of Filipino society.
The obvious reason why pride-deflators are needed: pride itself is a hindrance to doing right. The Greeks have a different word for it: hubris. People have this kind of pride when they’re so full of themselves, want the attention of others and actually want to hurt others while saying they are doing right. Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot I’m sure had enough pride to say that what they were doing (massacring millions of innocents) was right.
But look at it from our side, the pridists say. Our people are wallowing in poverty and suffering. They need something to make them happy. Pinoy Pride is what can cheer them up! Pride puffs up one’s spirit and increases happiness! Isn’t that right?
Nah. Not for me.
Why? Because I believe this:
Pride is NOT a key to true happiness.
Wisdom articles on the Internet and wiser, experienced people that I personally know say almost the same thing: pride does not give real happiness. Many Internet tip articles on happiness don’t include pride as an essential. They give me the idea that we can be happy without pride.
Of course, I agree with the idea that true happiness comes from the inside and is an attitude issue. One of the most common tips I’ve seen is to be happy with what one has. Being satisfied and free of unnecessary want can lead to happiness. Pride is connected with unnecessary want.
Of course, this does not mean that one should be complacent with mediocrity and dysfunction. These need to be addressed and fixed (And not being able to do so does chip away at our happiness, I admit). You’re not being satisfied with what you have if you keep making mistakes and allowing the wrongs to perpetuate in society without complaint. That’s a totally different thing.
But I agree that true happiness is free from unnecessary want — and pride. Besides, aren’t unnecessary want and pride among the causes of corruption?
One popular piece of advice I’ve heard from some people – dapat meron kang ipagmamalaki sa buhay mo (You should have something to brag about in your life). Thus, the lives of some Filipinos are dedicated to finding something to brag about. And if they find nothing, they’ll still brag. Braggadocio for its own sake. This has undone the Filipino once too many times. Besides, if all you’re looking to do is to brag, doesn’t that mean your life is meaningless? Forget something to boast of, forget pagmamalaki. That’s exactly what leads people to the path of hubris and error. Instead, do your best to be upright, so that people can’t find fault in you and bring you down.
So I say, look not for pride, and look at and listen to the pride-deflators in your life. Aside from humbling you, they can teach you to be a better person. And a better Filipino.
I believe, as my cohorts here do, that what Filipinos embrace as their culture is what actually pulls the country down. And those who seem to be anti-dictators, who may also believe themselves to be “heroes,” are the real dictators.