“Proud” to be British

That’s a saying in this country that seems a little over used to the point when it feels it’s being said as it’s an expectation rather than someone being genuinely proud. I remember saying it once then thought afterwards ‘What am I proud of?’ without knowing an answer.

It’s what inspired me the most to read about our history as it seems to stem a lot from there. We’re an old nation with generations of history and change that much is certain. But it all seems to have a repetitive violent and bloody tone for religious causes that I certainly don’t feel any pride in. I have flipped through quite a few pages of history books as well as websites to find some trace of something I personally can be proud of but I have found little to none.

The word ‘proud’ being used in this sentence seems to speak on a nationwide scale that everything achieved in the past was something we were all apart of. I know I certainly would not have wanted to play a part in the slavery of the Irish or the Africans, or the slaughtering of the Native Americans or the greedy way we forced China to trade with us etc. If anything it makes me severely ashamed.

That’s not to say I’m ashamed of my ancestors in particular because I don’t know if they were in positions of power or if they – like me – were part of the low/middle class folk who just worked every day struggling to get food on the table and keep the rent up to date. Perhaps they even protested against the decisions made by the royal family and/or government of the time. Or maybe they were all for it?

It got to the point when I wished I was from another country that seemed in a global light a lot more peaceful and accepting. Then I realised it’s not about where I’m from, it’s about the choices I make and how I choose to use my life as an example. It may not be on a global scale but influencing others around me in a positive light is certainly something I want to do.

I try to be a good person and I am worried conventional judgements will be thrown my way due to this whole Brexit mess but that’s something I can’t help. I know I inherited the typical British cynical and reserved attitude in some situations but based on my views compared to that of the general public that I speak to on a day to day basis, I feel a lot more open minded than that of the baby bloomers.

The fact is, I am English. I am proud of my own personal achievements and the positive influences I have done in the past and hope to do in the future. I know my passions and my dreams. I feel lucky to have grown up in a country of exquisite natural beauty as well as the magical pagan connections. Here’s hoping I can continue to back my words with actions for the rest of my life.

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