This is a topic that fills books, so a paragraph will be terse
indeed, but here goes.
My name is Ignatius Fay, PhD, and I live in Ontario, Canada.
As far as I am concerned, in a nut shell, patriotism encompasses
a love of and appreciation for you country, coupled inextricably
with a desire to contribute positively towards making it the
best that it can be and being willing to make commitments of
time, energy and money towards that end. It means taking an
active interest in the political system, assessing the
performance and platforms of the various parties and
individuals, making up your own mind as to whom would best
represent you towards your vision of a great country, then
getting out faithfully and exercising your vote. This does not
include blind, uncritical acceptance of what leaders tell you
and the laws they pass. They are as human and fallible as the
rest of us. A patriotic person keeps a close eye and when he/she
sees something he/she feels is wrong, it is his/her duty to
become actively involved and work toward motivating others to
use their vote to make change, to elect officials that will
endorse the proper vision of what the country should be. A
patriot obeys the laws of the land, even if she disagrees. If
she disagrees, she gets involved and tries to motivate change.
Patriotic acts begin in one's own home, spread to the community
and, from there, to the country as a whole. Being a positive
force in your community and a valid role model for your children
and youth in general are as important and powerful as running
for federal office. A patriot endeavors to raise children to
obey laws, take responsibility for themselves, take and interest
in the workings and direction of the country and, over all, be a
positive contributor to society. Finally, if it comes to that,
the patriot will be willing to die in defense of the country and
the people that live there. This, again, does not mean blind
following leaders into wars of aggression or of economic
importance - the threat must be directly aimed at the country
and the way of life it espouses.
As I said, really brief.
~Ignatius Fay, Ontario,
grew up in Levack, Ontario, Canada and now resides in nearby
Sudbury. His love of words, language and learning extends back
to those early years. He holds a PhD in Invertebrate
Paleontology, but became unable to work due to severe lung/heart
disease in 1986. He was introduced to the Japanese poetic form,
Haiku, by an accomplished practitioner, and has been writing
Haiku and Senryu since 1990.
Some of his work has appeared in small, local publications and
collections, the Mensa Canada Newsletter, Heron's Nest and
The Haiku Canada Anthology. In 2008 he self-published a
collection, Haiga Moments: Pens and Lens, that
included some of his more contemporary Haiku chosen and
illustrated by a talented new photographer, Ray Belcourt.
His motivation is to keep writing - striving to capture the
moment. Even though he fears "a lot is crap, he has learned not
to throw anything away".