Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines patriotism as love for or devotion to ones country. However, the word patriotism strikes lots of mixed emotions all over the United States. Some people describe themselves as involved patriots because they fly their American flag outside in their yards, when others see the word patriotism as disgusting, the seed of racism.
Patriotism to me, along with many others, means of course to have love for our homeland, our country, to support, serve and defend, to be inspired by, to change for the better and to care deeply for fellow Americans. After September 11th, a lot of people showed their love for this country by doing things like standing in line to donate blood, registering with the army, or even as little as wearing the American colors. Patriots support the countries authorities, laws, and interest. However this does not mean that true Americans should agree with whatever the President of the United States has to say and be blinded by what’s really going on in America. One of the biggest issues today is that people feel like the President has used patriotism with the American people to start a war with other countries. New posters in store windows along with billboards posted along the roads encourage the American people to become one and to show their love for their country. I believe that true patriotism doesn’t have to be encouraged but is something that we feel 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year long. Patriotism is to be proud of where you are from, and to love everyone around you weither they are natives of that country or not. Patriotism is not to have hate for anyone that’s foreign, or to think your country is better or strong then others for no reason.
On the other hand, patriotism to some people is a superstition that is artificially created and maintained through a network of lies and falsehoods; a superstition that robs man of this self-respect and dignity, and increases his arrogance and conceit. Instead of being just a love of ones country, these people believe that the patriotic individual is blinded by what the government is telling us. That patriots will go along with any ideas the government may have if put in a manner that concerns their country. People that don’t believe in patriotism also believe that to be patriotic requires allegiance to the flag, which means obedience and readiness to kill father, mother, brother and sister. The September 11th attack is a perfect example to help support this idea behind patriotism. After hearing that another country would do such a thing, people everywhere signed up to go into the Army for war. Without really knowing what they were getting themselves into, young men, old men, even women were willing to just go kill others that had nothing to do with attack in a sense. If this point is raised then the patriotic people can raise the point that the people that did sign up might have been for war with this country but they were standing up for their country and the people that died in the attack. After all, that is the real definition of patriotism.
I believe that there are different levels of patriotism. To have patriotism and to love the country that you where born and live, to love the people around you and to want to wave the American flag in your yard is to show your patriotism. To hate people of different races just because they aren’t from the land you love so much, or to go along with anything the government says without understand it just because they say it will do your country good, all of this is not patriotic.
Different people have different reasons why they are patriotic and how they choose to be so. There is a long line of people in my family that has fought for our country and freedom, even some deaths. This is one reason why my family is so patriotic. Just because my family has a huge American flag flying high in the front yard 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year long with a spot light on it, doesn’t mean we have the obedience and readiness to kill father, mother, brother and sister. We do it because we love the American flag and what it stands for.
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Patriotism—Its Merits and Limitations
Patriotism Versus Internationalism
Patriotism Alone is not Enough
“Who is here so vile that will not love his country?”
“You’ll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race.”
Patriotism means love of one’s native land. Just as we love our father and mother, so we love land of our birth. This feeling is called patriotism.
Water Scott has rightly said:
Breather there the man with soul so dead,
Who to himself hath never said:
“This is my own, my native land.”
But we find some people who love themselves more than they love their parents. They think of their own happiness and comforts before the comforts and happiness of their father and mother. Similarly, some people love their country less and love themselves more. Such people are selfish.
This should not be the case. It shows an unfeeling heart and a selfish nature. Just as it is the first duty of a child to love his home, so also it is the first duty of every one to love the land of his birth. A man owes much to the land of his birth. Just as he grows up in the lap of his mother, he is brought from making any sacrifice for his mother land when he is called upon to do so. Who can forget the great sacrifices of Bhagat Singh, Subhash Chander Bose, Lala Lajpat Rai, Gandhi, Nehru and other freedom fighters who sacrificed their all for the freedom of their motherland? Such patriots are honoured very where in all ages.
Patriotism is of two kinds: the first is a healthy one and should be encouraged while the second one is of an undesirable kind and should be condemned. Healthy patriotism teaches us to love out county with all our heart and to do everything in our power to make our country happy, great and glorious. IT tells us to build our glory on the ruins and suffering of other nations. The first kind of patriotism is good for our country and for the world The second kind of patriotism is bad for the world and will, sooner or later, be bad for the country that oppresses others.
It is our duty to love the land of our birth. It is also our duty not to hate other nations. We must try to cultivate a healthy type of patriotism and to devote ourselves whole heartedly to the uplift and prosperity of our own country. We must not have the perverted notion of patriotism that believes in the dictum : “My country, right or wrong.” Most of the crimes against humanity have been committed by people having this type of fanatic patriotism. Patriotism must go hand in hand with internationalism. One should never forget one’s duty towards humanity in general. Such patriotism as encourages narrow, parochial fanaticism is a bad type of patriotism which has no place in a fastly progressing civilization of today.
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