The Varying Degrees of Patriotism
I bet you, no one has ever told you that there are varying degrees of patriotism, each having its own measurable marker. I don’t know why not because patriotism, like all others things, is not a one size fits all concept but varies between individuals depending on the experience, beliefs and values of that particular individual.
For some, the wearing of a flag pin on their lapel is enough to satisfy that they are patriotic so it has become a part of many people’s apparel. For some, wearing a shirt or outside garment made of the flag is enough and then for others it is about flying that flag proudly in your front yard. Now each one of these carries with it, a degree of patriotism that makes one feel good about themselves and seeks to show those around them that they have a love of country. Sad to say that this alone does not equal another nor does it overshadow the other. What is does is satisfy your desire to prove to those around you of how much love you possess for this country or any country.
Now let us not forget about those who dress in camouflage utilities and run around playing soldier or those who may have survived those many weeks of basic training wearing their uniform to gatherings that does not amply reflect the views of the foundations many believe that this nation was founded upon. Which are why, others who also may have survived those brutal weeks of basic training see them and can think of nothing but ripping it off of them. Not because they look like a pile of excrement in it but because they are wearing them at a function that does not stand for defending the weak and defenseless. These are all ideas and degrees of patriotism that only that particular individual can decide works best for them and accomplishes the goal but there is one degree of patriotism that can never be correctly shown in any action.
That degree of patriotism is the degree where one was willing, ready, and able to sacrifice his/her life on a belief. A belief that those they left behind deserved to live a life free of oppression and should be free to choose their own particular way of life. This degree of patriotism is a bone-deep wanting of a nation to endure, that is believed to stand and support each of its citizens through any endeavor that they believe is in their best interest. It’s the willingness to stand and stop anyone who wishes to force group rights over the rights of the individual or enact rules that infringes upon those rights. This degree of patriotism is what defines those who passionately pontificates how wrong it is for anyone to attempt to control anther based not on the value of individual choice of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness but upon theirs. This is the degree of patriotism that many veteran fought for and just can’t seem to understand why so many others may have forgotten.
For a veteran to come home and see a nation divided, father against son, mother against daughter and separate nations against another all within one border, it drives us insane and makes us begin to doubt that belief that created this degree of patriotism. We find those whose job it is to aid and be a help become more of an obstacle and a hindrance. All this makes us regret our service and our only solace is drugs, alcohol and eventually suicide. Can any of those others mentioned above ever seek to match that level of patriotism or is that degree far too high a price to pay?