Why Patriotism Is A Choice
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Politics and Activism

Why Patriotism Is A Choice

I choose it.

Why Patriotism Is A Choice
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If you ask some people if they are patriotic, many of them will say they are not. There are many problems in this country that make people feel ashamed. There is a lot of political gridlock and tension. There are still many groups that are denied rights and feel oppressed every day. Our obesity rates, lack of education, incarceration rates, etc. are appalling and laughable when compared to some parts of the world. I could go on and on. For a country that boasts being the land of opportunity because it is the land of the free and the home of the brave, we have a long way to go in many categories.

In spite of this, I would say that I am patriotic. And it's not just because I was born in the United States, it is my choice to be patriotic. I am going to use an analogy to explain why, and I hope you readers can find something to relate to in it.

Think of a club, organization, institution, group of people, (whatever) that you love unconditionally. In this example, I am going to use marching band. People who know me are not surprised that I love marching band. It is a second home for me, a second family. I have many memories from this past year of doing really fun and amazing things with my beloved marching band. I have learned so much from band, and have met really amazing people.

Just because I love being a part of marching band doesn't mean that I don't get mad about it sometimes. Sometimes the people in it make me upset. However, I love the band too much to just quit. Instead, I focus on all the good the band has brought into my life. And then (here's the important part), I try my hardest to make it better. This can be done by by getting involved at higher levels, or by holding myself to higher standards and being a role model for what an exemplary band member should be.

Marching band emphasizes taking pride in your work. It emphasizes teamwork and collaboration. A band will thrive if the members work hard. These are all values that I have in my life, which is another reason why marching band is so important to me. However, if I were to ever feel that these values aren't met, I would try my best to change it for the better. I love the band, so I therefore have faith that it can always improve and we can learn from our mistakes. That is why I wear my marching band bracelet every day with pride, and literally all I do is talk about marching band. I am "patriotic" (in a sense) for my marching band because I believe in its power to do good things.

I understand that some problems in America seem hopeless right now. But if you were able to think of any institution that you love unconditionally, you are likely to do anything you can to try to improve it. If you believe in the original ideas of the United States, I strongly encourage you to not try to abandon them because things are rough right now - try your best to make it better. If you think that the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all are still relevant ideas, then I would argue that you have the potential to be patriotic as well. Being patriotic does not mean that you endorse all the poor decisions made by the country or by some people in the name of this country. Being patriotic means sticking by something because you love the core values of it, and then trying your best to be a model citizen. It's hard, believe me. But I have to believe that it will someday be worth it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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