How to Be Patriotic
Patriotism runs deeper than flag lapels and bumper stickers. If you want to learn what patriotism means and how to develop your own sense of patriotism for your country, you can learn how to get more involved.
Learn the difference between patriotism and nationalism.Nationalism refers to a blind belief that one's nation or cultural heritage is superior to others, while patriotism refers to a feeling of admiration for a particular belief or way of life. The two terms are often used interchangeably, and it's important to distinguish patriotism for what it is.
- Nationalism is often marked by "us vs. them" rhetoric and behavior. Nationalists believe that people who don't believe in the superiority of a nation or culture are somehow lesser.
- A patriotic attitude is marked by an understanding of a nation's history, accomplishments, and positive contributions to culture. Patriotism also recognizes a nation's failures and negative influence.
Understand how patriotism is used.Patriotism is one of the most common beliefs manipulated in propaganda. Patriotic values and rhetoric is commonly subverted by those who try to manipulate certain beliefs or behaviors. The word "patriot" and "patriotism" is often used as a bludgeon to question someone's commitment and love for their country in a way that's actually more akin to nationalism.
- A patriotic person may be moved by an appeal to their love of their country. However, alert citizens should be aware of the intentions of the messages they hear and the potential impact of the actions they seek to accomplish.
- How patriotic you are is not determined by how well you conform to what messages propaganda circulates as truth. Patriots can love their country without blindly following the popular majority.
Learn about where you live.Discover the history of your nation and how it grew to be what it is today. Find facts that surprise you, challenge you, make you laugh or make you proud. Try finding more about your country's past leaders, flag, national animal, famous landmarks, gastronomy, traditions, films, literature. Learn everything and anything unique to your nation.
- Read books and articles by authors writing today. Stay as up to date as possible about what it means to be a member of the country where you live.
Learn about your cultural and natural history as well.The land that you stand on existed long before a government was there to name it. Greece, for example, became its own country by declaring independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1821, although Greek culture is ancient. A patriotic Greek person may have a fairly complicated interpretation of what it means to be Greek, and nuanced opinions about culture and government, entirely separately.
- What people were native to the lands that are now your country? What grows there? What animals call it home? Learn everything you can about the place you call home.
Understand the history of other countries as well.Just as it's important to get a good sense of the land you call home, it's important to get a good sense of the land your neighbors call home as well. Learn your country's place in the world.
- Learn about the beliefs others have about their own countries. What does it mean to be patriotic in European countries? In the Americas? In Africa? National identities and attitudes are as varied as the countries they're found in.
Stay informed.Learning the history of your country is helpful, but it's also important to stay up to date on what your country is doing in the here and now. Your nation may be quite old, with a rich history, as in the case of Japan or France, or relatively new, with a fresh sense of self, as in the case of the United States.
- Find causes you believe in. What issues affect your country today? What are the most important problems facing your nation?
- Learn about your country's foreign policy. How does your country relate to the world? What role does your country play in its region?
Keep your government honest as far as is possible.Who is making the decisions in your country? Do you agree or disagree with the direction in which your country is headed? If you feel patriotic about your country, make it your goal to get involved and understand what's going on.
- No nation is free of faults. The United States, for examples, has a history of prejudice and racism, which still influences its culture today. Knowing this, researching this, and understanding this doesn't make you less patriotic. Know your country's past and be watchful of your government today to prevent future atrocities and abuses of power.
Participate in local government.If you care about the place you live, get involved on the local level. Vote locally if you participate in a direct or representative democracy system, or otherwise find a way to let your voice be heard. Talk to your town leaders or elders, and find out who makes the decisions around you.
- This doesn't have to be a big deal. If you feel patriotic, just talking to your neighbors and looking out for people can be a sign of this. Influence the way things go down in your neighborhood. Make it a safe place you're proud to call home. That's patriotism.
Look at issues from both sides.Increasingly, it can be difficult to find "objective" information. Everything seems to have a bias to it, and it can be hard to know what perspective you're actually reading. Do your best to examine issues from multiple angles, taking into consideration the people doing the reporting. Who stands to gain from a particular perspective? Who stands to lose?
Display your pride, if you want to.If you feel like showing your patriotism with dress, bumper stickers, flags, and other displays, then go for it. National holidays and other important dates in your nation's history are great times to let everyone know where you come from and how proud you are of it.
- In some countries, flags are commonly flown outside of homes in support of the nation. In others, this would be a strange sight. It doesn't make the residents of the latter home any less patriotic.
- Displays are the cheapest form of patriotism. It takes more than a symbol to be really patriotic. It's fine to show it, but never question anyone else's patriotism for not showing it.
Love your country with open eyes.Every country has positive qualities and negative qualities, and no one national identity is superior to another. Loving a nation doesn't mean you should ignore or stay silent about its failures. It is important to be informed. It's also perfectly acceptable to love your country for its cultural heritage, its successes, and its unique character, in spite of its shortcomings by emphasizing the positive and working towards a better future for all who call your nation home.
QuestionWhat steps should I take to make my nation more patriotic?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerWell, you can not expect to change everyone in your country into more patriotic people, because they have their own minds, and even though you're allowed to disagree with them and express your opinions, you're not allowed to force them to change. You can, however, become a more patriotic person yourself and try to inspire your friends and family by showing them all of the best qualities of your nation.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I inspire other people to be patriotic?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerBy being patriotic yourself, you can inspire others with your example. Of course, talking to people about why you love your country and encouraging others to get involved in patriotic holidays and in serving their country could also inspire them.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I make my nation patriotic?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerDo your part. Fly a flag every chance you get; celebrate national holidays; demonstrate your pride in your country in your attitude, actions, and conversations.Thanks!
QuestionHow can patriotism can be instilled in the youth?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerMost schools have a tradition of flag ceremonies or singing the national anthem weekly or monthly. The school curriculum may also put heavy pride on the nation, such as the need to pass the national language and maths sections to enter high school. Geography and History could mostly be focused on the nation itself, and if there is anything about other countries in the textbook, it is just ignored.Thanks!
QuestionAs a citizen, what are the important duties towards our country?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerImportant duties include voting and acting respectfully to authorities. Protesting for liberty and freedom is important too. If you can, donate to causes that help the less fortunate in your community.Thanks!
QuestionMany people say that they believe in nationalism. Is it right to be a nationalist.Strategic By NatureCommunity AnswerThe difference between patriotism and nationalism is a patriot is proud of their country for what it does, and a nationalist is proud of their country no matter what it does. The first attitude creates a feeling of responsibility, but the second is a feeling of blind arrogance.Thanks!
- Remember you can make the nation/team a better one so get involved.
- Pick up litter around the teams home ground, buy a flag, learn the National Anthem and read up on heroes of your nation.
- Celebrate the holidays that make your country what it is today. Show your patriotism by understanding the days and celebrating them in the appropriate style.
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