About a year ago, something happened in Canada that hadn’t happened for a while. The Winter Olympics were held in Vancouver, and while that was great, it wasn’t the best thing that happened. Canadians were loud and proud for their country, and celebrated what the atheletes had accomplished for their country. We went from previously being the only country to not ever win a gold medal on home soil to the country which won the most gold medals on home soil. Everywhere I went, all I could see were flags, banners, shirts, mittens, jackets – whatever was available, a maple leaf was proudly displayed on it.
Normally when someone thinks of a country with a great national pride, Canada is far from the top of the list. For a time last February, I think that our country experienced something that I wish would stay a part of our culture. Unfortunately, that just isn’t how it is for most people. I’m one of those weird people who loves his country and is very proud to be Canadian.
There are many things to be proud of in life. Getting married and becoming a parent are two things that I’m most proud of. If you work towards something for a really long time and finally achieve it, you should definitely be proud of it. As an example, the show Departures is about a few guys who travel around the world for three years, seeing and experiencing so many awesome things around the world – Scott, Justin, and Andre should definitely be proud of that.
We should also be proud of who we are. I am a geek, and I don’t care what others think of that. I wrote before about embracing your geekiness, and it still holds true. Like many others, I’ve had some self-esteem problems in my past, because I let others get to me. I’ve learned to not really care about what other people think of me, but to care about: who I am, what I’ve done, and what I stand for. If my wife hates my guts one day, I care about that. If a random person on the street hates my guts, I won’t give it a second thought.
A good experience to help with your pride is to go to a convention like BlizzCon or the San Diego Comic-Con. You get to be with thousands of other people who share your geekiness, who like similar things to you, and where you don’t have to hide what you like. When my wife and I went to BlizzCon ’08, it was surreal to walk down the street and see people with the goodie bags, then go into a restaurant and have almost every table full of other people talking about what was coming up. There’s a great sense of acceptance when you have people there for a similar reason.
What I’m getting at is simple: be who you are. If you’re a geek, nerd, or whatever other stereotype or social label you can think of, be proud of it. You are who you are, and there’s no reason to change or hide it.