Don’t Be Proud of Who You Are

by Jordan Spencer Cunningham on

One of the biggest lies of the 21st century is to “Be proud of who you are!” No. Don’t. Stop spewing that lunacy.

When people spout off this phrase, imagining altruistically as they do so that they are the most loving, caring, and tolerant person on earth, they’re talking about the intrinsic and foundational characteristics of a person that are within an individual more or less from birth– gender, hair/eye/skin color, sexual preferences, and other, less noticeable traits and tendencies. This pathetic but all too popular internet meme of a movement has led hundreds of thousands if not millions of fickle youth and immature adults alike to rise up in rebellion against an imaginary enemy (often scapegoated as “religious bigots”, “conservatives”, and “anyone who so much as thinks about disagreeing with you”) and embrace whatever these self-proclaimed Warriors of Justice, Peace, Love, Rainbows, and Unicorns tell them.

Don’t listen to that drivel. It’s a bold-faced lie.

You didn’t do anything to merit who you are– God did, and, to a lesser degree, so did your parents and their genes (if you don’t believe in such things as God and parents and genes, then you have to at least admit that the Universe made you who you are). You had nothing to do with who you are, and therefore claiming any credit for it by being proud of it is both illogical and a lie.

Be proud of who you choose to be. This puts the responsibility of who you are on your own shoulders so that you can’t blame your parents, your genes, your environment, nature, or even God for who you are. Only you get to choose what you do with yourself, your body, your means, your talents, your life, and your thoughts; your nature might scream for you to do otherwise, your environment might attempt to force you to be something else, and the world might tell you that it’s wrong to deny these things, but ultimately you get to choose who you are. Your nature, your environment, and your society are fleeting things. Why not choose to be something greater than what they tell you to be?

It’s the coward’s way to a seemingly “easy” life to say he has no choice in who he is. It’s the brave and noble soul that decides who he is and works to become that person, especially when it’s hard– when it goes against his nature, his upbringing, and what other people tell him to be. We are not meant to simply exist as who we were, are, and ever will be. We are meant to grow and become better, greater, more glorious people.

Never be proud of who you are. Make choices to become someone who can be proud of who he or she chose to be.