Oct 9, 2011

Pride as a Virtue

It seemed up until a few days ago, that I would manage to write one post per day. It would have been nice to do so, to add up 31 posts for October, and round up, pair up a month with a number signaling my favorite celebration: Halloween. Before you ask, no I haven't started my planning and rounding up for Halloween/Samhain yet. According to plans, Alix shall "lead circle" for Samhain, if we actually decide to keep up this strange decision to celebrate in a Pagan-ish way the cycle of the year, so it's not like I must be working on it, planning and coordination - no matter how poorly the end result comes up - though most likely I would end up doing something small and private - Solitary Witch like - just like I did in Mabon (though I didn't took pictures of that).

In the past days, the days I didn't post a thing, I took part of two activities that made me think about pride in a very positive way, a way that should be kept and nurtured inside everybody's heart.

On Friday seven of my coworkers and I went to a work tour to know an Eolic Power Plant and a Hidroelectric Power Plant. Our company - which is a State Owned Company - started originally working on the energy sector, aiming for many years to bring power to every corner of the country at affordable prices. The ideal back then was to work hard and do the best to ensure the country could grow and develop. The company gave jobs and made sure to have the best professionals in every area, sending them to study, giving them chances to be better and serve better the country. Years after the company also took care of the telecommunications sector, also seeking actively to interconnect the whole country, ensuring low prices and access to phones to everybody. The level of penetration in both sectors was quite high, earning the country the first place in electrification, and I believe telecommunication reach in Latin America. (Or so we have been told.)

With the years, many upper tiers got corrupted and soon we found our labor force filled with people more interested in pulling personal benefit, sucking the blood of the company for the sake of their own pocket, than that of the country. Service degraded, poor choices were made, elitism sneaked into our ranks, with many middle and high management elements too quick to outcast the poorer segments of the country in favor of big companies, ready to give away important chunks of service and price, not thinking twice before fucking up the little people. The phrase "they don't make us so much money, they can go to anyone else" has been said more time than I'd like to recall.

On Friday, however, we were packed into a small mini bus and drove to the far West province of the country, Guanacaste, where in Tilarán and Sandillal we've got the chance to see an Eolic Power Plant (Tejona) and a Hidroelectric Power Plant (Sandillal). Aside from the tremendously poor planning and evident adjust-as-we-go system, it struck me how so far from the putrid higher management spheres, there were people still living the ideal, plausible proud of wearing the uniform, eyes filled with stars of love and pride when looking at the logo of the company. It got to me how these simple engineers, working in far away locations, among machines, staring intently at control panels, still had that unadulterated pride of being part of a force that's there to serve the country. They may not make as much as any of those working where I do, and yet they relate to their jobs, they would give their lives and souls to serve the country. In they lived the kind of pride many have forgotten, with their minds clouded by greed, juicy paychecks, big titles, work paid trips to anywhere in the planet, and the handshake from corrupted politicians who wish to break the company to pieces and give it away to their larger campaing contributors.

It made me think that Pride isn't a capital sin, but the sin is to forget pride, to outcast it and thus be open to sell out one's soul for money, for greed, forgetting the noble ideas that can make you grow by serving your country.

A second type of pride I learned of was the pride of being able to help. It happened on Saturday, when a former coworker of mine, Andy, and her sister, Cucha, took part of a walk for Breast Cancer Awareness. It was particularly meaningfull, because Andy and I have very different political backgrounds and positions: me more "State oriented", she definitivelly more "liberal", and yet it came the day she and I walked for a common cause, and donated for a common cause. Without any discussing, fight picking or anything (we never got into arguments anyway), we took part of a huge Pink Force, among men and women proudly sporting pink ribbons and pink t-shirts, surrounded by people who was there for a family member, a friend, and acquintance or simply for the world, in an effort to do something to help, to bring awareness about this illness and others like it.

Here differences went up in the thin air, made smoke and it didn't matter if you were against or in favor of this or that, didn't matter if you were of this or that religion, of this or that sexual orientation, poor or rich, healthy or sick, strong or weak, fit or a potato couch, what it mattered was that you were there, helping to bring a message to the world, to your fellow citizens, donating time, effort or money - as little or as much - to help those in need, to contribute with the recovery of those stricken with the illness and wishing them for the depths of your heart, without knowing them, to be better. You walked there in support, showing respect and sharing the pride of those who survived and made it, infusing your life strenght from close and from far, to those who are still in the battle. They are not alone and we, a big pink sea, came together to send them our thoughts and positive energy to encourage them to defeat the illness and soon walk with us.

This is Pride, and this isn't a sin. It's the pride of being helpful, of sharing, of doing something for others, it's the pride that doesn't seek to raise above others, but to pull others along, infect them with the feel and the happiness and move them to be part of a greater good.

Be Proud. It's a Virtue.

No comments: