• shane@countryexec.com
  • Seguin, Texas
Understanding Why It’s A Privilege To Be Texan

Understanding Why It’s A Privilege To Be Texan

Recently I was watching a documentary on one of the most enduring and legendary sons of Texas. In a state with no shortage of larger than life characters, Mr. Nolan Ryan stands tall. As any baseball aficionado and or good Texan would, I thoroughly enjoyed reliving the tales of a sports hero from my youth. I highly recommend watching “Facing Nolan” to any baseball fan, and to anyone that enjoys being reminded of the privilege it is to be Texan.

Mr. Ryan said something so eloquently during the film that I find myself thinking about a lot. He made reference to the mythical nature of Texas, how he believed it tied into his aura when pitching. “Big Tex” on the mound, the greatest power pitcher of all time. This imposing figure throwing baseballs faster than previously thought humanly possible. Batters dare not crowd the plate. The legend grew with every pitch, and he is unquestionably one of the most recognizable Texas sports heroes ever.

As someone that has traveled the world, I’d like to attempt to help everyone understand that mythical aura of Texas Mr. Ryan alluded too. Why it’s such a privilege to be Texan, and why it is so ingrained in all of us. I’m going to take the opportunity to share with you all why us Texans have such a strong sense of pride in our beloved home state. Let’s get into it!

Countryexec.com: The Privilege of being Texan

The Privilege Of Being Texan

I see the viewership of this site from all over the world and love the reach of the website. It’s fascinating to see page views from around the globe. Many of you may not get what the deal is with us Texans. Without question we’re an interesting bunch. Indoctrinated at an incredibly young age. Our own way of walkin’, talkin’, our own style of dress. We took the English language and put our spin on it. Our own music, way of being, our own code of ethics. I call it Texas swagger.

We have that swagger and we take it with us everywhere we go. Just a couple of weeks ago I was in Washington DC accepting an award on behalf of my organization and I threw a Texas sized monkey wrench in that entire program. More on that later.

As a proud native son that has lived and worked around the world I understand Texas pride pretty dang well, but it’s not lost on me that many folks probably don’t get it. You may even think it’s weird. I can understand that. I didn’t really understand it until I enlisted in the Air Force and got to experience more of the world.

It truly was eye opening. I was born into the culture and I’m not really sure if I ever left the state until I got my first duty assignment in England back in the 90’s. It was then and only then did I begin to understand what it meant to be Texan and the privilege of being from somewhere recognizable around the world.

Realizing The Privilege Of Being Texan

During my time in the Air Force no matter where I went in the world everyone knew something about Texas. I could not tell you how many times locals would ask me if we had cars growing up or if we still rode horses everywhere. At first I thought it was a joke, and maybe it was to some, but the similar line of questioning I heard from folks in different parts of the world led me to believe at least some actually thought it was still our preferred mode of transportation.

Initially I would always be upfront about the horses versus car thing. Of course we drove vehicles, mostly pickup trucks mind you, but the days of riding horses to get to and from were long gone. Eventually I just started rolling with it. Who am I to ruin that individuals perception of being Texan? I’d be at a pub with my boots on, someone would inevitably start a conversation, the accent was heard, and more often than not that persons eyes would light up when they realized they were having a conversation with a real deal Texan.

“Yeah, of course we still ride horses everywhere. When I came here I thought it was weird you guys don’t. To each their own I guess!” And away we went, sometimes conversations late into the night about a place I just happened to be from. I loved the privilege of being Texan back then just as much as I do today.

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That Beautiful Flag

I’m an unabashed proud native Texan, I wear it on my sleeve as they say. Literally I’m a walking talking stereotype. Any good Texan has a sizable chunk of Texas themed clothing in their closet. The flag, the state outline. You name it, we got it and we wear it loud and proud. Often. We are the undefeated champs at marketing that Texas mystique.

The mystique around the Texas flag is something else altogether. I’ll never forget Mrs. Country Exec and I visiting Destin, FL a few years back. It was such a beautiful place, the beaches were amazing. Wouldn’t you know it, the very first time my wife and I step foot on the sand in Destin the first thing we see is the Texas flag flying on the beach….in Florida. Texans and their state pride. You know I love it, those are my kind of people!

And in case anyone was wondering, you best believe the Texas flag flies proudly at my house too. Below is an actual picture. I love seeing it day in day out. I’m a little weird about it, when I take it down I refuse to let it touch the ground. When we have weather come through I take it down. I’ll never disrespect what Texas means to me and everything it has provided for me and my family. I feel the same way about the United States flag to be fair, albeit I don’t actually fly it at my home.

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Texas Pride CSO50 Style

Just a couple of weeks back I was in Washington DC accepting a CSO50 cybersecurity award on behalf of my organization. Boots, accent, and all. It was me and a bunch of C-level folks from Fortune 500 companies. I’m country to my core, but us Texans can rub elbows with all types without batting an eye. I sat on a panel to discuss how local governments are combatting cybersecurity. Had a great time. I may have some stand up comedian in me because I definitely got a few laughs. Real Texans aren’t a stuffy bunch, we like to have a good time. What you see is what you get when the spotlight is on.

I felt as though I was representing technology in local government, someone speaking for the other guys far removed from corporate America. It was all good. Every event should have a brash Texan in attendance. I knew I had left a mark the night of the awards ceremony because I believe my employer received the largest ovation when called up on stage. Some of the biggest corporate names in the world and a rural Texas city may have had the loudest cheers. To make that kind of impression over the span of a few days is the power of the Texas mystique. I love it. That’s Texas swagger!

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The Privilege Of Being Texan Conclusion

There you go folks, there’s just something to Texas. Just like Nolan Ryan said, there’s a mystique about it. It’s a place unlike any other. It’s my home, I was born and raised here, and I love it. I have thoroughly enjoyed bringing Texas with me no matter where life has taken me. It’s been a life long privilege to experience so much of what the world has to offer, but I know where my home is. I know where I belong.

I believe that feeling to be a beautiful thing. The pride in your unique part of the world. That sense of belonging, the camaraderie that comes along with it. I find comfort in it when I’m home, and I find joy in it when I’m not. It’s something I wish everyone had the privilege to feel in their hearts, regardless where your home may be. There very likely is something special about your home too, I say celebrate whatever that may be. Until next time thank you for reading, and please take care of yourself and the ones you love.

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