Sunday, August 29, 2010


That word used to be more flexible. It could actually be used to express something- anything you're proud of. But now, things are a little different.

When the word "Pride" is used, and I say it with a capital P, one of two things come to people's mind; gay Pride and national Pride. Those two aren't exactly bad things, or bad types of pride, but with the way our society has constructed itself around the word Pride certainly comes with its drawback. The draw back is simple. We have limited ourselves verbally so we can't really use the word Pride for anything else effectively. Yes, one can say he is proud of his career success. That nearly does not have the same impact as one saying he is proud to be gay or his nation.

It took a while for our society to accept gay people, and we should all be glad we can accept this change in our society instead of sticking to the old traditional ways all the time. However, one can say out loud in the streets, "I'm PROUD to be gay!" and people can cheer. If one were to yell out, "I'm PROUD to be straight!" not much will really happen depending on what city you are in. That's the kind of impact I'm talking about. Sexuality wise, you can't be Proud, unless the church hates doesn't love you too much and others who totally love you for it.

The national Pride is what really gets to me and starts to really draw lines for people, which has its own ups and downs. Canada, especially Toronto literally is full of people from all over the world. People can be Proud to be whatever nationality they're. Hey, it's something you can't change so you might as well like it, right? I mean, it even brings a community together. It also separates said community from other communities, marking borders within the country, and even down to the city itself. When you go over board on this national Pride, you stop to see others as individuals as well as yourself. You begin to generalize and just throw the word "individualism" out the window. You also see other nations as nation full of faults and imperfection and think your people are God's greatest creation (Unless you're Jewish, in which case I can understand)! Even if you do suck up some of that national Pride and admit your country of origin does have some issues, you'd want Canada to do something about it. By a messy looking protest/march no less. Canada has enough issues of its own.

I could go on, but I'll end it here. Pride should be available to be used in a sentence that has nothing to do with homosexuality or patriotic national love and still have an impact of using the word to its full meaning. In fact, if it takes a word for this society to accept gay people into it, go head, take it. Heck, take other words, too. A lot of colours were already taken, anyway (and I am actually not being sarcastic).

But keep in mind a few things about national Pride (because that's the one I'm really attacking here). Keep individualism in mind. Because you want to be proud of what you did, not what your country did a long, long time ago. If your country wins something like.. let's say the World Cup. If your country wins the World Cup, that doesn't automatically make you a better soccer player, either. Sometimes, it's more about where you're heading instead of where you came from. You only have (little) control over one of the two so you should focus on that instead.

By the way, I am Proud of being able to say this stuff people like to dodge talking about. I even say this nonsense in person, too. I should be Proud of that one at very least.

Or shouldn't I..?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

2nd Place

I was once a healthy man.

No, I didn't date a succubus somewhere in my youth... or if I did, I just didn't realize it, but over the many years after high school (which was... holy crap! I'm old) my fitness level have been shot down to zero. So I've been running here and there since last week, sometimes with a friend. It's great running again. I'm by no means as close to being fast as my days back in track, but I'll climb the ladder again.

Ironically, after my run, I felt woken up instead of feeling tired as I have been feeling lately. My stress is gone and I can think straight again. The answer for all my stress and tiredness was always in front of me, and I haven't taken up on that answer again until now. But this whole, running-again-diving-to-the-memory-of-my-youth got me remembering 2 important things about running; why you practice in a team, and who you're really chasing after.

We all had individual races back then. Some short distance, some long distance. Yet, we were told to practice and train as a team. Some were faster than others and the level difference was clear, but the coach didn't seem like he cared. I didn't really understand until near the end. We train as a team because we can encourage one another to sprint that one last lap or run a little further. Another reason is that, well, its relaxing. You're training for a competitive game, but this is the only time you're not actually competing against anybody. It eases your mental side, greatly reducing any kind of stress or pressure. Not to mention we were representing the same school.

The second thing I remembered, and this is probably the most important one to remember and always keep in mind fresh on the surface is who you're chasing after. This has to do with more of the mental side of things rather than physical side of things. In a race, you chase after the person in front you. If you're first, then you can feel the pressure of those behind you, waiting to run past you should they be given a chance. Friendly rivalry is one thing, but if you end up concentrating on just getting faster than another person you know, that's where it all goes down hill. Even if you do get faster than the person you chase after, you're done. You now have no more goals and can quit anytime. Not really achieving the speed you could achieve.

The real person you should be chasing after is yourself. Or to put it more accurately, yourself of near future. The you whom is just a little faster, can run that much further, and that much better than your current self. You always chase after that person, even if you made it to first place. Keep chasing after that person and you will grow almost endlessly. Because even if you do pass that person and gain the 1st place, you'll realize another one of your future selves and be back in 2nd place again. Likewise, you must also keep in mind the person behind you. The you of yesterday. That guy is what you used to be, a little slower than your current self. You slack off, and he will take your place and you'll have to start from scratch.

Either way, instead of chasing after that future self, I should be chase after my past self and get my speed back, then work on getting faster. I suppose you can say I'm in 3rd place rather than 2nd.