Patriotism is a hard concept to grasp. I think it can be open to interpretation, but to me, it is isn't solely about blinding loyalty to one's country, but it is about love and respect. This doesn't mean that there is a belief that one's country is the absolute best, but it means that there is pride in one's origins and a desire for that country to thrive. This is why patriotism is so important, especially among the younger generations. No matter how many times we've heard it, we truly are the future, and for the future to be bright, we have to act in our country's best interest, not our own.
I once read an article that compared patriotism to a family. It said that without love, respect and loyalty that family would disintegrate. Think about adultery, a parent failing to support his child, the child disrespecting his guardian; it would all fall apart. For this reason, patriotism is important; to preserve and protect the nation as it currently exists, and eventually, perhaps make it better.
I grew up in Italy where patriotism was practically nonexistent. I saw more hatred for my country than anything else. Celebrating who we were, was seen as silly and unnecessary unless it was in the context of sports. While I was too young at the time to do anything about it, I now realize that it is part of the reason why the country isn't functioning. When young people are too busy complaining about everything sucking instead of loving their nation and working hard for it to succeed, things don't go well at all.
I encourage everyone, especially the youth, to love their country. No matter where you are from, it is part of who you are because it is where you come from. I understand that especially nowadays, there are more problems than anything else, and it's easy to be unhappy and complain about everything being wrong, but I also recognize that the only way to achieve progress is by working together from a place of love and respect. It is important to focus on what is good and stand together united, pushing for progress. Don't be afraid to show your patriotism especially this 4th of July, be proud and stand together.