"I'm kind of old now (63) and have actively participated in my
country's well being my entire life. I can say "I am a patriot".
But, in that, I must say it with a different mind set than I
might have used 30 years ago.
Being very patriotic requires a country and political system
that also helps make you feel that way. Today, in the USA, it's
more one-sided than anytime in its history - we are used by the
government instead of governed by them. We are taxed without
seeing much benefit and useless laws are passed by the thousands
that most of us don't even know exist. Yes, today it's a
different atmosphere for us all.
I remain patriotic and would defend our country with my life.
But, I would also challenge the country, if given a chance, to
return to the dignity, honor, respect and hard work that made us
a great and worthy country in the first place. It's a two way
street: we work hard for the country and the country works hard
~Don Baird, US
Don Baird is
an internationally known and respected martial arts teacher and
poet. For the past ten years or so he has been specializing in
eastern poetry forms such as haiku and tanka. He has been
published in ezines and magazines including Simply Haiku
several times. He won third place in the International
Kusamakura Haiku Contest two years in a row. Recently, he took
first place in his division in the Shokon Tadashi Kondo Award.
For the last five years he has been teaching advanced haiku
studies for a poetry site of almost 200,000 members. A teacher:
a student. Don remains committed to his journey of a haijin.