The real meaning of patriotism

Accepting our nation’s flaws to form a better union

The real meaning of patriotism

In order to improve in anything that we do, we have to first accept our flaws and strive to fix them. If we cannot accept that we are not perfect, we will always stay in our current state, never improving or changing.

This acceptance of flaws is the difference between patriotism and blind nationalism. Patriotism means you stand up for what you believe in in order to make a difference in your nation. Blind nationalism, on the other hand, is the failure to realize that your nation has issues that can be resolved. The belief that your nation is perfect the way it is leads to problems.

When citizens in the United States believe that there are no problems in existence in our country, we lose the purpose of what it means to be a citizen in a democracy. Our entire form of government is founded on the principle of the citizen’s right to have a voice in their government. If we never question our government or the motives of our representatives, or if we simply stand by and watch as legislation that the masses disagree with is passed, then we have failed to fulfill our obligation to our country.

Our obligation to our nation is to make it the best that we can, not only for our generation, but for generations to come. It is perfectly fine to take pride in your nation; however, being proud is far different than being blind to issues within your land.

Whenever we turn on the news, we hear stories about the problems that the United States is currently facing. Whether it is economic trouble or backlash from Pakistan regarding our droning policies, everyone has the ability to be aware of what is currently happening in our nation. However, we have citizens who refuse to accept the negative aspects of what is currently happening, and are striving to keep our nation the way it is, and, in some cases, going back to past policies in certain aspects. We label these people “Patriots” and we are using the wrong term.

A patriot would rally for progress, not regression. A patriot would fight to change current policies and practices that negatively impact our citizens and our world, such as our environmental practices. And, most importantly, a patriot would be willing to accept America’s flaws if it meant that we would be able to fix them.

Being a patriot does not mean that you do not love the United States or appreciate the opportunities that we are granted as citizens. It simply means that you love your country enough to shine a light on the problems that we face in order to make it even better. Being a patriot, not a blind nationalist, truly embodies the American spirit; standing up for what you believe in to form a more perfect union.