Pride is a subtle power. It can lift us up and bring us low, it has the unusual power to do both in an undetectable way. I remember how proud I was to have my mom or dad come eat lunch with me at school. Occasionally, the school would schedule a “Parent Lunch Day” and every kid was excited to have their mom or dad as a lunch guest. At other times, a parent would just feel the need to spend some extra time with their kid, so they would show up for lunch and when that happened some interesting results could be observed.
A parent at a lunch table is an immediate draw and compelling person of interest, just their visit makes a kid immensely popular for at least thirty to forty-five minutes. When my mom or dad would come to school and have lunch with me, every kid in the cafeteria wanted to sit at my hexagon shaped table, which of course, only seated six. It was as if a celebrity had graced the cafeteria with their presence, to eat stamped out, rectangular pizza, corn, fruit cocktail and 2% milk.
When mom came to visit, a lot of girls wanted to sit at my table, which was unusual and was not really desirable until I was in fifth or sixth grade. When dad came to visit both boys and girls wanted to sit at my table, because dad was cool, he had a mustache. In the 80’s mustaches were in and my dad had well-groomed facial hair. He had made the mustache popular long before Tom Selleck’s acting talent was even discovered. If you had a lunch guest with interesting facial hair, you were somebody!
Kids are under such pressure these days to be someone of importance and influence. Our culture and social media place a premium on popularity regardless of a person’s character. One of the most valuable and important status symbols which I remember from elementary and middle school was simply this, an interested and involved mom or dad. An engaged parent, with or without a mustache, is understood by kids of all ages to be a source of honor and pride.
“Love is not proud…” 1st Cor. 13:4