The past has been a breeding ground of the patriotic, the noble, and the brave. But does it seem that now it is lost in the echoes?
But what is patriotism? Is it serving your country during wartime, or making war on injustice in your hometown? Is it gathering with friends and setting off camp fire; is it about being attached to a particular patriotic club or attending these patriotism trainings or is patriotism a feeling that transcends words?
Patriotism is about loving your country.
The Oxford dictionary defines patriotism as ‘devoted love, support, and defence of one’s country’; national loyalty. But the word patriotism cannot be restricted and is very subjective in nature. One need not praise leaders or fight wars to express their feeling of patriotism.
Some say it is unpatriotic to oppose the war, but consider this example; say if your kid brings home a bad report card.
Are you proud of him/her? Probably not. But do you still love him? Of course yes. Loving your family is wanting, what is best for them. Loving your country is not just saluting the flag; loving your country is trying to make your country better.
Since lately, the issue of patriotism is increasingly outdated in many communities in our country at present. It is because they are busy with their own affairs that led them to ignore other things.
You can’t expect a country that is shipping its young people in their productive age into modern day slavery in Europe and Middle East and expect those people to love their country. No matter how elaborative you may define patriotism to them. You won’t be understood.
You can’t also expect young people to be patriotic when even second year students at the University can’t find placements for conducting Internship. They don’t have that devoted love and support for their country. They have lost it.
A country which can’t provide opportunities to its people can’t breed love and compassion in the hearts of its citizens. A country driven by corruption, greed, favoritism, jobbery, cronyism and all others evils of sectarianism, you can’t breed patriots.
Without maybe contemplating the true meaning of patriotism to ourselves and the rest of the young people will not turn this situation differently. Until someone live in the illusion of blind faith there is no patriotism at all.
To be a patriot….you don’t have to patrol Ugandan borders, you don’t have to fight the terrorists in jungles, and you don’t need to be a soldier or a police officer.
Just be in your mother nation and help it to be great in any simple ways you can,-in your small capacity with your talents and skills. Like what mother Teresa of the Calcutta in India used to say, you don’t need to do great things but do simple things in great ways. I continue to quote her own words when she said never complain of the dirtiness of the world, just get the broom and clean your compound yard and tell your neighbor to clean his/her compound yard the world will be clean on its own. Don’t complain of someone not doing what he/she ought to have done but what you, ought to have done. I hope this happens soon!
The love of our country should come from within and on the things we do. No one should teach anyone to love his/her country. Our actions, our works and our deeds should be patriotic-oriented and influenced. This will paint a picture in the minds of many young people to grow doing patriotic-oriented things for the good of our country and for the good of patriotism. A country cannot grow and develop without patriotism and patriots. In Uganda, there are people who think are more patriotic than the others and are the ones with the audacity of lecturing the rest of the country men and women what patriotism is and how to become a patriot. There is no master on patriotism. Patriotism comes from within.
I pray that one day Uganda witnesses real patriotism and real patriots.
Long live Uganda, Long Live East African Community, and Long Live African Unity
For God and My Country
Written by Katabarwa Albert, a Public Health Practitioner
Advocate for Un-employed Public Health Practitioners in Uganda
Re-Awakening a Revolutionary Consciousness
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