I’m thankful to have personal pride. I don’t mean vanity, which usually is a terrible character flaw, but rather, pride in who I am as a person, what I represent by carrying on the Adams name, and what kind of quality I deliver in the work I produce. I don’t claim to be perfect, but I strive for perfection in the jobs that I undertake, even if it’s a crappy second job in a pizza place. Every single day, I attempt to do my very best. This pride was instilled in me by my father, my grandfather, most of my football coaches, and a handful of teachers, and every day of my life, I am thankful to them for teaching me to find gratification in the quality of work I do.
Somewhere along the way, pride seems to have taken on a negative connotation, which probably has to do with mixing it up with vanity. Vanity is all about ego and self-grandeur, but pride is more about caring about how others perceive the work you produce. Our country suffers from a lack of personal pride. Too often, quantity trumps quality and half-assed is deemed good enough. We have lost our edge as the world leader, I believe, because too many of us have lost our sense of pride. We have to start rewarding quality and rejecting shit, and it all starts with pride. Business owners need to take more pride in the kind of business they run, not just the bottom line but also the impact on people’s lives. That’s just as important as profits. Employees need to take more pride in the quality of work they provide for their employers, and consumers need to demand higher quality in what they receive. If we can re-establish pride, maybe we can stop falling behind the rest of the world in education, which eventually will put us behind in technology, innovation, and leadership. And it all starts with personal pride.
I am grateful to have pride in myself and my work, and I will make every effort to pass it on to my own sons.