Hello, and thank you for this thought-provoking brief article. The more I have thought about your words and those of the thoughtful people who have responded to your words, the more it seems to me that you are under-socializing pride.
Back in 1990 my brother remarked to me: "I was so proud that you are my brother." The mixed tense was sensible in the context. He was expressing some of what he had felt as he witnessed me delivering a eulogy at the memorial service for Jerry, my then recently deceased lover of 22 years. I had recounted Jer's amazing range and levels of talent. I had told the story of our struggle for and achievement of happiness, in the midst of an enormously hostile society. And so forth.
When my brother used proud in his expression of what he felt, I'm pretty sure he got it exactly right. We might say he should try to stop having such unindividualistic feelings. We might say he should try to understand and report his feelings as reduced to purely individualistic primitive elements. I doubt he would be feeling or saying things more truly if he followed such advice.
One evening on the (step)maternal grandparents' farm in western Oklahoma, when my brother and I were grades-schoolers, someone brought around to the house the stallion named Red. He was not used for riding, only for something we would rather not know about at that age. He was very spirited and would throw men right off if they were foolish enough to get on him. Grandpa was saying the usual things about how Red could not be ridden. Daddy said, "I'll ride him." Grandpa warned against it, saying "You'll break your neck!" They managed to get Red saddled. Daddy got up on him. Red bucked and bucked, but Daddy stayed on. He reined that horse, full run, onto the quarter-mile dirt road to the highway. It was getting dark, and we couldn't see what was happening. It was such a suspense. Daddy came riding back on Red, who had by then become gentle as could be.
What my brother and I felt was pride. That is its name. We were proud that our father had done it and that he was our father.
To be sure, when we became men, we put away childish things. Nonetheless, the same sort of pride in kin, or in those who have become our friends, remains. As adults, should we always disapprove that feeling, dissolve that feeling, quick and total, into others?