By Mirria Martin
Pride is a thing that wears many different hats in all of our lives. For me, pride is dressing in a silly costume to go to an anime convention. Pride is donning a rainbow pin in the shape of a heart. Pride is preparing to paint my face in Mifflin blue and white and punching it out once football season starts. Pride is everything I stand up straight for, everything I speak out for, and everything that fills my heart with that distinctive warmth.
And really, that’s what makes pride such a powerful thing. It can take on so many forms, find its way into so many parts of our lives. Our pride must start from the inside, and push itself outwards. Starting at our very core, starting with our pride in ourselves, it should fill us up completely, and overflow into the world.
So what are some ways you demonstrate pride? Do you sit in the stands and cheer for your team? Do you wave a flag, or sing a song? Is it in your voice, the way you carry yourself? Do you mark it, stand up for it, find it in the everyday things of your life? There’s so many ways to demonstrate pride, from loud and proud to quiet and confident (and everything in between), and there’s almost certainly no wrong way.
As we start up classes and school, we’re sure to encounter pride at every turn. The halls of our schools, the victories of our teams, and the joys of our work will come to fill each and every one of us with a sense of pride in what we do. And as we cheer and brag, we’ll encounter another type of pride as well. Pride in not just our school, our corps, or our cohorts, but pride in the individual student as well.
We’ll encounter trials and tribulations, but filling our students with pride will come from those hardships. We must care not just about the Punchers, Stars, Bulldogs, and Panthers as a collective, but also in the singular form. Each and every student will give us a reason to be proud of them, from not hitting another kid on the playground to sitting still through the whole class to making that bump from sliding to on-track. By celebrating the smallest accomplishments on the individual level, we find another reason to be proud, and pass that same joy and power on to our student. What will our students accomplish this year? Who knows! But we’ll be there, cheering them on and proud of them all the way.