Webster’s Dictionary defines “patriotism” as:
love for or devotion to one’s country.
As the 4th of July draws near, it seems important to remember what this term really means. Thanks to the music of DC Talk, I know that “love is a verb.” So that means patriotism depends on action, and not just feelings. After 9/11, President Bush told Americans to be patriotic by shopping more, as a way to restore the economy. We were to use our wallets to support the country. The idea made more sense at the time than it does in hindsight.
Now, each of us has new ways to show love for our country, and in particular the people living in the country. For example, wearing a facemark to reduce the spread of Covid-19. Registering to vote (and vote) to be part of changing our political structure. And speaking truth that our country has systemic problems (#BLM).
Above all, do not just do nothing.
I don’t know where this quote came from, but have seen it multiple times:
The opposite of love is not hate; it is indifference.
Doing nothing is unpatriotic. Acting like nothing is wrong is unpatriotic. Ignoring the needs around you is unpatriotic.
Trying and failing is patriotic. It is literally the example set by the first citizens of this nation. They tried and failed constantly.
Try. Fail. Learn. Try again. Fail less. Ask for help. Try again.
Be The Man in the Arena. That is a true patriot.
“We are the spark, that will light the fire that’ll burn the First Order down” (Poe Dameron, Star Wars: The Last Jedi). – #52sparks is my year-long writing series for 2020, based on an art prompt challenge. The spark that lights a fire to toast a marshmallow or to ravage a forest begins in the space of an inch. This series is to explore what hundreds of inches and words can do.