Pride Month: be proud but not haughty

Pride Month: be proud but not haughty

As a Buddhist, I put a lot of effort into developing humility, so that I can learn from everyone and not look down on them. I know from my experience that’s a good way to live… but how am I supposed to relate to Pride Month? My books are full of queer joy, and I want to celebrate that!

Well, there are different aspects to pride. The negative aspect is looking at something about me – appearance, skills, possessions, even my very identity – and thinking that makes me a better person than someone else. Buddha called that deluded pride. And I can see that it’s easy to fall into. I have been known to think, ‘I’m English, so the way I spell things is innately superior to Americans.’

(Ahem. I’m not the only one, am I? And of course all you Americans reading this are doing the exact same thing in reverse, which just shows how ridiculous pride is.)

There’s nothing wrong with thinking, ‘I’m English.’ That’s simply a fact. But it becomes a problem if I believe that makes me a better human being than someone from another country.

So, that’s deluded pride. But there are types of pride that are beneficial, too, for example believing in our potential or feeling good about ourselves for helping others. Those aspects of pride encourage us to be better people, rather than thinking we already are superior people!

Back to Pride Month: what sort of pride are we celebrating here? I’m aware that I’m simplifying, but I’d say in general that the Pride movement arose out of having been made to feel inferior for countless generations; it’s a way of reclaiming a social place that was denied LGBT+ people for too long. It’s about relating to¬†our potential for happiness and fulfillment, acknowledging that all people deserve that. It’s not (hopefully) about developing a distorted view of being better than anyone else.

Anyway, I’ll shut up now or this will start sounding like a political statement. I’m interested in psychology and human interaction; politics, not at all. The reason for all this pontification is to let you know that my book Mazeweaver is half-price for Pride Month!

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