I’m Macedonian. I’m Slovenian. I’m American. I’m Greek. My culture is ancient. My culture is filled with honor. My culture has values. My religion is true, my people have morals, well… If not all of them, then at least the ones from which I originate. And if those too by some reason happen to be faulty of crooked, than my family surely isn’t. Because we have values of the kind not everyone has, we see things differently and we are raised up in a way that others fail to raise their children – Because we took the harder and righteous path while the rest slimmer along the easy exits in life. Thus, you can see how my country, my people, my culture, my religion and values are true. How they are to be valued. How not everyone can be what I am, even if they wanted to. You see, how I am superior in so many ways. I am special.
This was an example of hubristic pride. Which is the act of taking pride in things that you are not responsible for under the delusion that they are somehow right, better than others and more worthy than the set of behaviors and values that other people have. This kind of pride is seen in every nation, among all cultures and definitely in every different religion. Somehow, someway, everyone is under the impression that all the good things they associate themselves with are inert in them, that no-one else can have them or at least that no-one else can do ’em quite like they do – or should I say, quite like “we” do. Put simply, hubristic pride is taking credit for things we didn’t do and things that anyone else could have done just like us if not better.
But don’t different nationalities, countries have different characteristics?
Indeed they do, even the smallest countries have differences between them. People from different towns also differ. Minorities are almost always different from the majority culture. That doesn’t mean that the differences are due to the nationality or that there is something innately special about your culture or the town you grew up in. It especially doesn’t mean that you should take pride in such values, hence they make you a victim of your own culture, not being able to look further than the values that your environment raised you with, not being able to improve beyond your perceived cultural limitations.
So if nationalities are indeed different, than how come we shouldn’t attribute these differences to the nationalities them selves?
It is amazing how much our environment can shape our culture, physical characteristics and behavior. It has more to do with terrain than with genetics. For example a person born in a village in the hills (in ancient times) will most likely be more aggressive/brave than those born in the fields, the rationalization behind this is the type of food they acquire in order to survive. Those that are born in a high – rocky terrain are prone to raising livestock to survive. This in turn prompts them to use the stick/staff to control the livestock. Gathering, herding and defending the livestock are part of the everyday routine of these people. Therefore they know more about handling melee weapons and defense from the get-go. Initially they may defend the stock from predators such as wolves, but as time passes they start defending it from other people that happen to have less then they do and so turning to theft. You see where this is going? In turn, those that are living in a wide, flat, open terrain are prone to living off of agriculture. Further, they need to mark their farms, giving raise to the first concepts of territory. And as much as the fields are visible they start perceiving the territories as their own, thus large areas start grouping together by tribal conventions and forming the first states. The people that live in hills are more prone to see combat and their territory is restricted to small visible areas while, those living in the states are bound by cultural conventions and prone to enact and respect a different common of rules – which in turn vastly alters the way they go about living and they become adept in learning about organizing and respecting conventions. Still think the way you behave has something to do with your nationality?
But minorities live in the same kind of environment as we do, and yet even after years of residence they still tend to behave differently – even parasite-like. Minorities are a community within a community, not a community among a community. Thus they associate quicker with members of their own community or ethnicity. Surprisingly it’s not the language or physical appearance that binds minorities together. Other languages can be learned with time and people can strangely get accustomed to the physical appearance/beauty of the environment in which they reside. Rather, it is the sharing of similar problems within the minority community. These problems are out of the spectrum of vision of the majority and in turn are rarely understood by them. A situation like this makes discrimination inevitable, even if everyone has the same rights, it is extremely likely that the socioeconomic status of the minority is different than the one of the majority, prompting them to organize and develop strategies to overcome the fact. Thus, while the majority is in competition with themselves, the minority is bound and acts more cohesively to defend their interest, which is also the group’s interest. Sometimes from the point of view of the majority this behavior looks aggressive – and rightfully so. The minority seem reluctant to integrate, and why should they? Integrating, makes the minority disband from their cohesive group and unable to tackle the problems that they are facing, problems that a majority is blind to, problems that will continue to plague the minority even after full integration. So if you think that there is something inherently wrong with a minority living in your country, go and move out to a state that is better off than your own and see how you react.
In conclusion, hubristic pride is a baseless and counterproductive phenomena that only limits us and our potential to grow, learn and model the good behaviors from those different than us. Instead, perhaps we should turn to authentic pride – The act of taking pride in accomplishing something, especially if that something helped you grow, or if it helped someone else develop and live a more fulfilled life.