Friday, August 6, 2010

Patriotism: What is it?

Wikipedia defines it thus:
Patriotism is love and devotion to one's country or homeland.

My wife defines it like this:
A positive appreciation of those who came before you and a willingness to create a better community.

The first definition I have a problem with since it creates a blindness and unwillingness to create the better community (it is necessary to look at yourself with a critical eye in order to see what needs to be made better).  The first definition creates the support for unjust wars, fallacious concepts, and continuance of policies that have proven to be false.

Under my wife's definition a patriot could be just about everyone and you lose the partisan politics.  Both Bush and Obama could be patriots (to the consternation of their foes).  It's difficult to see into the hearts of our leaders and be able to tell what they truly believe.

Under my wife's definition even I become a patriot since I truly am grateful for what the founders of our country did by creating the freest country, although not entirely free.  But I am grateful that we are closer than ever before to becoming a free people.  So what is it that I do to improve my community?  Right now I'm trying to be productive by contributing to the market place (hopefully I'll finish my project soon) and I am also trying to help people think more critically and not fall back into partisan politics but think of the truly best way to fix our problems, you could say I'm trying to help free minds.

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