A sign of the times: Taking pride in county's athletic accomplishments

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Two weeks ago I touched on something that I feel is both a blessing and a curse here in New Mexico:

Our humility.

It’s a great trait to have as people. After all, pride is one of the seven deadly sins. Que no?

If the great philosophers are right, pride serves no good purpose:

Proverbs 16:18 in the Bible declared “Pride comes before the fall.”

Thomas Jefferson said “Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst, and cold.”

On the other hand, Jane Austen wisely wrote this:

“Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously.

A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.”

It’s this notion of pride that Jane Austen wrote of that I’m talking about.

It’s not vanity shown for the benefit of others

It’s pride to celebrate ourselves.

In this case, I’m talking about road signs.

Let me explain.

In February, I drove through Texas with my fiancee and my future mom-in-law.

It was just a nice road trip to Houston. We drove through the Panhandle, from Amarillo to Dallas/Fort Worth on down to Houston.

On the way back, we took a detour just south of the Metroplex and drove through some smaller towns we normally would not have driven by.

And you know, just about every town, big and small, had some sort of sign on both ends of town proudly declaring a state championship.

Or a district championship.

Or both, if the town was really something.

I’ve been driving into and out of Los Lunas a lot over the past two years, even before I took this job.

I know there’s a girls state championship basketball team from Los Lunas now. And a state runner-up in football. That just happened last year, as you probably remember.

I drove south a few times this year so I’ve seen both ends of Belen as well.

I know the Hub City has state champions to celebrate. But, again, there are no signs off the highway.

Oh sure, there’s something on the back of the press box at Belen High School. I see it just about every day driving home from work.

But that’s barely legible folks. We need something bigger, more full of the pride.

We need these signs to let people know what our athletes, what our children, have done. Not to look down on others. But to prop ourselves up.

Socorro has a state championship team or two. The folks in that city should celebrate that with a sign off Interstate 25.

Las Cruces and Santa Fe. Las Vegas and Santa Rosa. Gallup and Silver City. These places have had state champions coming from their schools. But you’d never know it driving by these cities and towns.

That’s a shame.

So this is my challenge.

I challenge the boosters of both the Belen Consolidated Schools and Los Lunas Schools to put up signs to let people know of the accomplishments of their young athletes and scholars (while we’re at it, why not add the accomplishments of our smartest alongside the accomplishments of the strongest and fastest?)

Not to puff out our chests for others to see. But to let the future athletes and scholars know that they too can do it. To be a constant reminder that they can become the best in the state, and perhaps even the best in the world.

After all, pride, like charity, starts at home.