It’s summer 2018 and as we bask in the beginnings of an already glorious season, much of the nation dreams.   Could football really be coming home?  The swelling of national pride across the country indicates that there is more belief than for a long time.  Whatever the outcome, national pride has to be a positive thing, a chance for celebration and unity.

What creates National Pride?

There are many occasions that can bring pride to a nation.  An opportunity to stand tall, sing your national anthem and celebrate your heritage or chosen country of citizenship.  The most obvious has to be in the field of sport, particularly the major events such as the Olympic Games and the World Cup (in various sports, not just football).  For me, cheering on my country to success in these championships gives me such a thrill.  The London Olympics in 2012 will forever be etched in my memory.  It was a truly great summer, blessed with wonderful weather in time for the games.  Our performance as a host nation was truly magnificent and the sense of pride across all corners of our country was incredibly uplifting.

Additionally in 2012 we celebrated our Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.  This set the tone for such a memorable summer, albeit a bit damp and cold at the beginning.  Still, the people came out in their thousands.  An estimated 90,000 attended the Diamond Jubilee Festival in Battersea Park.  Aside from the Jubilee, royal weddings also create a strong display of national pride.  Both William and Kate and Harry and Megan’s weddings were celebrated nationwide, creating a feel good factor, not just in the UK but also around the world.

It’s not always for happy reasons that we stand proud.  Events such as Armistice Day allow us to be proud as we remember those who gave their lives for us, a chance to mark our respects and honour the dead.  When Diana, Princess of Wales tragically died in Paris, the outpouring of grief was another form of pride as once again the nation came together.

Finding the right balance

It is important for national pride to be balanced.  Indeed, pride is considered by Christian teachings to be one of the seven deadly sins.  We use the expression that pride comes before a fall.  So where does the balance lie?  Wikipedia discusses the negative connotations “a foolishly and irrationally corrupt sense of one’s personal value, status or accomplishments” versus a positive connotation being “a humble and content sense of attachment toward one’s own or another’s choices and actions”.

A good example for me was during the World Cup hosted in Brazil.  Brazilians are so passionate about it and they truly believed they could win on home ground.  I was with my Brazilian partner watching the infamous game against Germany.  Despite such a heavy loss, the nation rallied round and partied until the end of the tournament.  Much of the nation was behind Germany in the final as they eventually were crowned world champions.  They didn’t allow their missed opportunity and disappointment make them bitter and miss the pride of hosting such a big event.

What National Pride means for me

National pride for me is participating and getting behind your country.  Often I know that despite my support and passion, the result will not be the desired one.  I love the Eurovision Song Contest.  We’ve won it five times but the last time was in 1997.  Still, that doesn’t stop me watching every year and getting behind our entrant.  This year, Surie did a fantastic job even though her song didn’t really have a chance for success.  When the stage was invaded during her performance, she showed true British grit and professionalism and carried her performance through to a rupture of love and support from the audience.  My national pride swelled within my heart.

At home, I have been watching the football every day.  I only tend to follow the World Cup and the Euros.  I love to embrace the moment.  Our lounge is currently decorated with St George and Brazilian flags amongst other little ornaments and keepsakes.  As I write, England awaits its first knock out match against Colombia.  By the time you are reading this, the outcome will be known.  Whatever the result, my country has made me proud.  If we are not crowned champions (let’s be realistic here) the dream and the journey will have been fun.  A humble nation will remember this and congratulate the winners,  a genuinely positive sense of national pride/

About the author: Stuart Dickson’s passion for personal development began in September 2013, when he joined a Network Marketing Company.  Part of his development is increasing his spirituality and the many ways of doing this.  His first blog, Happy Monday People was born from a project that came about from his personal development journey facebook.com/Happylifepeople

 

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