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Patriotism Is?

patriotism opinion

This article is full of thoughts and opinions.
My thoughts, and my opinions.
My ponderings and questions.

Like every one, I am entitled to wonder, to ask, to cogitate, to conclude and to form an opinion; And as usual, others are entitled to ignore, to disagree and to form their own.

Please feel free to read, but remember, it's just an opinion!

It has been my pleasure to have been in situations that have enabled me to converse with people on an International level!

I have been privileged to speak to a cross section of people, from all walks of life!
I have spoken with those who are influential in their immediate group and inner circle of peers; those who are influential on a more external and far reaching level, and those who claim no influential abilities at all!

I have dined with the affluent, prospering businessmen, and sipped a hot drink with the struggling homeless on the streets!

I enjoyed all these encounters equally, and gained insight and a measure of understanding from each one.
But, even though each individual encounter was conversely different, and emotions and opinions were unrelated to the conversation before with another individual, something struck me as strangely interesting!

When asked what Patriotism was, every individual gave a different answer!

Now some may say that's to be expected.

Why?

I fully agree that we are individuals, and as such we consider issues differently. But to me having several different understandings of what Patriotism is, is as absurd as having different understandings of what Peace is!

Everyone has their way of finding inner peace, but everyone knows and accepts there’s a precise, correct and root meaning to define Peace.

Peace is the absence of war!

It’s a foregone conclusion that serenity is included in the meaning of peace, and that the dictionary definition is correct.

No one questions it, or tries to change it!

Oxford Thesaurus
Tranquillity , calm , restfulness , peace and quiet , peacefulness , quiet , quietness ; privacy , solitude


Not only does it strike me as absurd that Society constantly re-defines Patriotism into several catagories and differing degrees, but the differing understandings of what Patriotism is, can and does lead to confusion and often hatred!

Those in the Armed Forces;
The Individuals who served in Vietnam;
The people who were in service during WW2;
The Forces now serving in Iraq;
Those that I have spoken with, will tell me, Patriotism means..
'to be willing to die for your Country and fellowman'

Those who are against war;
The Pacifists who refuse to fight;
The campaigners for peace, tell me that..
‘Patriotism means to protect and stand by fellowman as a whole’.
‘Patriotism is not nationalism, and is far reaching!’
‘Patriotism is about helping your Countrymen as a brotherhood, respecting not warring!’

The politically minded explain that Patriotism means to..
‘Stand by the Government and the decisions made’.
‘To believe and trust in the policies and to campaign with vigor!’
‘To back your Leader’.

The individuals who avoid politics and have no interest in State affairs, inform me that..
‘Patriotism is a farce!’
‘A word used to control the masses and insight crowds into carrying out Governmental agendas’
They tell me that the only people they’d protect from harm, are those that are related, and those few that are in their trusted circle.

The interesting observation here, in my opinion, is that every single individual that answered my query, declared themselves a Patriot!
All had conflicting views of what Patriotism is;
All believed their understanding to be correct;
All tried to convince me the other versions were incorrect;
None could give me the definition given in a dictionary!

The Dictionary definition of Patriotism is: Nationalism, allegiance, jingoism, loyalty to your country!
Interestingly its also defined as chauvinism! Which, in turn is defined as racialism, , bias, intolerance and many other words that I personally find disturbing!

Oxford Theasaurus ‘patriotism →noun nationalism, patriotic sentiment, allegiance/loyalty to one's country; chauvinism, jingoism, flag-waving’

Oxford Theasaurus ‘ chauvinistic - jingoistic , chauvinistic , excessively patriotic , excessively nationalistic , flag-waving , xenophobic , racist , racialist , ethnocentric

Oxford Theasaurus ‘ xenophobic - jingoistic , chauvinistic , flag-waving , excessively nationalistic , isolationist ; prejudiced , bigoted , intolerant .

The definitions are all related to Patriotism. Each word listed, as you yourself can plainly read, are in the given description of Patriotism.
It may well be bought to my attention that ‘chavinism is used to describe ‘excessive’ patriotism, but in my opinion, the fact that it’s included as a root meaning at all is disturbing! Along with intolerance and prejudism!

I am convinced, that if some individuals actually realised the claim they make, when declaring themselves a Patriot, they would not do so!

While I do not feel there’s anything wrong with love for your Country, it’s possible that Patriotism itself is excessive, when considering its meanings!


All these different opinions to what being patriotic means causes conflict within the country itself, and often leads to hatred!
One group of Individuals claim the other to be tyrannical in their thoughts, and another group say that the others are cowards!
Yet all claim love for humanity, while taking their threatening stand!
All claim Patriotism toward their fellow Countrymen, while fighting and abusing them!
Fighting and treading on the very individual, that they claim they would and do protect, due to their Patriotism!

As for me, I have my own confusing questions.

If Patriotism includes, dying for ones country, on the basis of Governmental decisions.

If a persons patriotism is indeed measured by just how far the individual will stand by the State rule, and follow the political agenda of those dictating what that agenda is.

Does Patriotism include following blindly?

Does Patriotism mean to get in line, behind and on your knees, an Official who, at the shout of ‘conflict’ runs for shelter while others fight?!

Does it include following and ingratiating oneself to the group in power and control of the country?

Does being Patriotic mean to walk behind and loyally obey orders and policies? Even though you feel that the group in power are only interested in a good outcome for themselves, and have made decisions that are humanely unbalanced?

Judging by what I have seen, heard, and indeed been told, to some, it means all the above!


It is absurd, to me that so many people will bicker over the meaning of one word, and will endeavor to make their definition the correct one!

It amazes me that they will harm and maim, not only other Societies, but fellow countrymen, in order to preserve and inculcate their opinion of what patriotism is!

They can not change the meaning.
The definition is in a dictionary.
To be Patriotic includes the characteristic…
Chauvinism; ‘Intolerant of others, bias, racist.


I personally, have no desire to follow the definition above!
I love humanity and would do all I could for my fellow man.
But while doing so..

I will not ingratiate or beg for approval!

I will not dictate or demand another follows my reasonings!

I will not maim or ridicule!

Neither will I ever consider myself above another, or become intolerant!



Thank you for reading my rantings.

It’s just an opinion!

Paris L’Amour
Published: 2006-06-05
Author: Paris L'Amour

About the author or the publisher
I am a lady who enjoys simplicity, gentleness and peace.
I have had two poems published and sold internationally.
I enjoy writing and find it a relaxing release when feeling stress, and a wonderful enjoyment when feeling contentment.
I have experienced many things in my life. None I regret, as each one, pleasant or otherwise, molded me into who I am!
I write, primarily for me, but hope that someone benefits from reading my scribbles! If my writings make others think another way. I am happy.

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