What Are You Proud Of?


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Most of us are still trying to get used to being in 2020.  Reacting at the beginning of the year, some people could be heard saying that it wasn’t too long ago that everyone was buzzing about Y2K and all the many calamities we were afraid would come upon the world.  But their focus soon shifted to talking about the new decade (which really isn’t new yet, with a year to go), and if we were asked to recall highlights from the previous decade, many of us would be stumped to point out any. Well, how about memorable highlights from last year?  Can you recall some of them? One  organization has done just that. The January AARP Bulletin, has an article titled “19 Reasons We’re Proud of 2019.”  The article is like a retrospective of the organization’s accomplishments in 2019, achievements worth celebrating.

Now, the way most of us have been schooled in  the “pride-goeth-before-a-fall theology, we may be reluctant to point out things we’re proud of having accomplished in 2019 (or in any year, for that matter). But go ahead and do it anyway. Look at it as a great assessment exercise, a way of checking up on yourself instead of giving yourself a pat on the back or sticking out your chest and saying how terrific you were last year. No bragging is involved here.

In AARP’s case, they are proud that they fought fraud through their Fraud Watch Network, now a leader in helping to prevent scams of the elderly. Another of their proud achievements is their Tax Aide that gave free tax preparation to over 2.5 million taxpayers, using 35,000 volunteers  who helped secure $1.4 billion in income tax refund for people unable to pay for the service. Also on their list is the Global Council on Brain Health, which exposed as deceptive and misleading  many  of the “brain boosting”  supplements aimed at the elderly.

With these from the Bulletin  as a start,  and the 10 I have suggested below, you should be able to sift through your life in 2019  and make your own list of 19 things you’re proud of when you look back.

1. Did you overcome a morbid fear, such going swimming in the ocean or flying  on an airplane?  I have a friend who took a plane trip in 2019. It was quite an accomplishment after years of taking the Megabus or the train to her destinations. She prepared her mind ahead of her flight, did it, and was proud of having done it.

2. Did you emerge from a traumatic experience stronger, with your faith intact and your emotions in balance? Many who lost loved ones during the year can be proud of such an accomplishment.

3. During a discussion, did you remain quiet long enough to  let others have their say? Chalk that up as a matter to be proud of in these times when everybody seems to be talking at once and nobody is listening.

4. Did you take time to look at people who are different from you and not only showed them  outward acceptance but also had an interior acknowledgement of the value of their  “otherness”? If so, you did well, since there is a widespread tendency to value people less if they look different from us or come from a place that is not as “civilized” and enlightened as ours.

5. Were you able to express your views on a hot-button issue without belittling the positions or beliefs of those  who were of an opposing view? In the current national debate, it seems hard for people to do this. You should be proud that you were able  to do it, using wisdom that was peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated (James 3:17).

6. Did you volunteer to help in a worthy cause, such as a school’s book drive or a community food pantry? Giving and sharing are important to our civic good. If you shared, be proud.

7. Did you read a book or two all the way through? Reading a real book is a vanishing art, but the act of sitting down with a well-written book and savoring the language, examining the author’s point-of-view, and finding value in a new idea can add immensely to one’s quality of life. If in 2019 you read widely and well, you have something to be proud of.

8. Did you send a card or a note  or make a telephone call to someone to bring cheer or to share your concern? Relationships matter. You can be proud if you reached out to a fellow pilgrim on the journey.

9. Did you purpose not to get flustered when an unforeseen incident spoiled your day?  In Rudyard Kipling’s words,  “If  you can  keep your head when all  about you are losing theirs and blaming it  on you,” you demonstrate self-control, something to be proud of in any year.

10. Did you find deeper spiritual meaning and increased faith in 2020? That is something to be greatly desired.  This morning I came across this question: “Can you  take pride in ‘things’ without being proud?” I thought about it for a while, then answered  yes. We can do so  when we recognize the Source of all our gifts and have the right motivation for our actions. Gratitude dilutes pride and changes it into joyful thankfulness.




In September 2019 I entered Dark Days on the Fairest Isle in the SCWC (Southern Christian Writers Conference) Notable Book Award. My book has emerged as a Finalist in its category. Should I be proud?


    • Judith Nembhard

      Hi Judy,
      You have a short comment that packs a big charge. Thanks. Glad
      you enjoyed the post.
      Best regards,

    • Judith Nembhard

      Hello Pauline,
      Great hearing from you from so far away. I met someone today who is
      from Ghana (if I remember correctly). I bragged that you were in
      Kenya. Hurry back. Thanks for your comment. JN

    • Judith Nembhard

      Hello Barrrington,
      Nice hearing from you, my friend. A little recognition is helpful,
      don’t you think? Makes me want to continue in the race. How are things
      going with CORONATION MARKET? Is part 2 in the works? Keep me posted. Judith

  • Diane Rosier Miles


    Definitely, yes, you should be proud! Congratulations that your book Dark Days on the Fairest Isle was a finalist in its category!

    • Judith Nembhard

      Hello Diane,
      It’s so nice to hear from you. Thank you for the kind word. I was quite pleased
      to have the little bit of recognition for my book. I hope everything is
      going well with your book GABRIEL. Thanks for keeping in touch. Judith

    • Judith Nembhard

      They surely can, Ouida. They can inspire us to do better. I read a few mornings ago
      that the person with whom we speak most frequently is one’s self. We can speak
      encouraging words to ourselves when we have done something that turns out well.
      Ultimately, of course, the gratitude goes to God.

      Thanks for your welcome comment.