Pride is, depending upon context, either a high sense of the worth of one’s self and one’s own, or a pleasure taken in the contemplation of these things. One definition of pride in the first sense comes from Augustine: “the love of one’s own excellence.”
The pride that people used to have in the things that they do is gone. Now before you all tear me up, I’m not talking about everyone on the planet. However, the amount of people who take pride in what they do is much smaller than the one’s who do not.
I say this because I have been watching the world. I have been observing the behaviors of people for many years. It’s one of my favorite things to do, study the behaviors of people. I have noticed over the years that there has been a steady decline in the pride that people have in what they do. It used to be that people would get up in the morning, put on their uniform for the day, be it a suit, a dress or a neatly pressed uniform of the Law or Military, and go to work. Now here is where the change really takes place. It used to be that even if you did not like what you did for a living you still took pride in your work, simply for the fact that it was your current occupation and you wanted to make sure that what you did was done to the best of your abilities. Now, I see people working and they have no pride at all. I have watched people just stand around and do nothing because they are unhappy with what they do or because they simply have no care for anything at all. People today simply want everything handed to them and they do not want to have to work for it.
What sparked me to come out of my long silence? Let me tell you. Today I went to Arby’s to get some sweet tea for my wife. I walked in and went to the counter. There were at least 8 people behind the counter and one other customer who was standing at the counter waiting for his food. I heard someone yell “Person at the front.” When I worked in the fast food world, this would have been unacceptable. We always had at least one person standing at the counter at all times. They would greet the person and make sure that the counter was watched over for security. After about 2 minutes (now remember, there are 8 people behind the counter) someone finally came up to the counter. However, before he stopped to help me, he had to tell the girl who was (literally) walking in circles that the guy who was standing behind the counter was waiting for fries. She then stood there and looked at the customer, then the guy coming to help me, then at the fry machine like she did not understand what it was she was supposed to do. Finally, after what was almost a full minute more she got around to getting the order finished.
Now we come to me. The man asked me what I wanted. I told him that I wanted two half gallons of sweet tea (on a side note, he asked me if that was for here or to go after he got my order — I guess the programming worked on this Arby’s model too well). He took my order, then went to get the tea. He first looked in the fridge by the counter, none there, then the one by the drive thru, none there, then he went in the back, obviously none there because he came out with two empty 1/2 gallon containers and filled them from the brewing machine that they had. Now, when I was working in fast food, this would have been unacceptable and some one would have gotten into serious trouble (if not all of us). If you have 8 people standing around not doing anything then it should have been obvious that they did not have enough work to do. They should have had one or two people making the teas for the fridge, one person bussing and cleaning and one manning the counters, the rest should have been prepping or doing something. The pride is gone.
Now this is just one example of how pride is missing from our society. I have a million others ranging from retail work all the way up to law enforcement and let me tell you the law enforcement one is the most disturbing one of all. Do you know that the city of Wichita employs officers who are over weight? I saw an officer the other day who was pushing at least 280 to 300 pounds. I am not kidding! This guy could not chase down a criminal even if the criminal was dragging a pack of Twinkies behind him. I was seriously concerned for the state of our safety in this city, especially if we have more officers like this on the force. I was under the impression that law enforcement had a standard that you had to meet in order to be a police officer. Either the standard is low or there is no one enforcing it. Again, the pride is gone.
Like I said before, these are just small examples of how we as a society, as a species have lost the pride that we once had as a nation. I don’t know how to fix it either. I mean, I take pride in everything I do. I feel that if I don’t (whether I like it or not) that I will be looked down on in some way by society. But lately, I have been noticing the reverse. I have been noticing that by taking pride in what I do I am being looked down on by those that have no pride. I have become the outcast in some way because I am not following the new order. I was raised to believe that all a man has in life is the love he has for his family and the pride that he has in the things he does. I still follow these rules to this day. No matter what changes the world makes, I will continue to take pride in everything I do.
If the world does not change then we will be living in a state of chaos. I for one like a little chaos from time to time, but not if it means the sacrifice of one of the must fundamental things that makes us human.
The world is changing and its not changing for the better, I will continue to watch the world and see where it leads us. Hopefully society will wake up and realize that they have lost something that is very important and work to get it back. Until then, we will have to make do with the prideless society that has started to emerge and hope that we can survive the fall out that it will soon bring.