While exchanging banter with our friends and family, we often tell them they are not being patriotic whenever they suggest the need to move to another country or even prefer the economy of another state to theirs. Half of the time, it is mostly just banter but what do you think being patriotic really involves?
Being patriotic is definitely more than just having a valid passport, a National Identity or Social Security Number or living in your home country. These are important though.
Being patriotic is not boastfully suggesting your country is ‘best’ but rather communicating your countries wins and accomplishments in the best possible light. There are lows too but that does not make your country the worst there is.
Oxford Dictionary describes being patriotic as having or expressing devotion and support for one’s country. It requires being involved in your country’s development no matter how small. So as my friends in safety say – safety is everyone’s responsibility especially yours. This also applies to being patriotic – it is everyone’s responsibility especially yours (in your own little way).
The 1st of October is Independence Day in Nigeria and also doubles as a national holiday. It marks Nigeria’s proclamation of independence from British rule on the 1st of October 1960. On this day every year, citizens of Nigeria get the chance to celebrate and measure how much the country has achieved. Definitely a good day to be intentional about being patriotic too right?
Every Government has it’s fault and I have come to realize you can never have a perfect government. Some projects will be completed, some will be left unattended, some communities will benefit and some will not. There have been several debates on whether a country needs more prayers or change in leaders. I will say every country needs both.
There are economic and social issues that need to be sorted but it is not enough to always blame the political leaders or imply ways they could have handled a project better. As individuals, we can do our little part to inspire ourselves and other people to be patriotic.
Regardless of where your home country is, here are very simple ways you can be patriotic to your country:
Obey The Law.
Some countries have a very defined system and to an extent can monitor citizens who break rules. However, being patriotic involves obeying the law regardless of who is watching or what monitoring measures are in place.
Obey traffic laws and speed limit, pay you tax and utility bills, keep your surroundings clean and dispose waste properly. If you obey the law and consistent with your bills, you inspire people around you to do the same.
Portray Your Country In The Best Light Possible.
Since the advent of social media and how popular it has gotten, freedom of speech is now on a whole new level.
Ever wondered why some countries put a ban on certain social media apps or even monitor content being put out? It is partly because of how easy it has become to exaggerate situations and make same exaggerated content available to the world (at the detriment of the country).
While you not expected to cover up ‘the wrongs’ in your environment, it is advisable to also share the ‘rights’ in your country. The media does not also help as negative news sells more. We only hear about the dilapidated roads and epileptic electricity situation but never the places where these things are functional.
A country is functional because of the people who have agreed to serve faithfully. Show support to the uniformed men who serve the country, use every opportunity you have to share the ‘wins’ of your country, celebrate national holidays, use your flag, wear your country’s colours e.t.c It shows you are proud of your home country and you are being patriotic too.
Be In The Know.
It is not enough to have a good memory of the dates and events you were taught while in high school, it is important to keep up with daily trends as it relates to the current situation in your country.
Is it election season?, Is your country hosting any major sports event?, Any natural disaster to be weary of?, Are you keeping up with the weather channel?, How is the exchange rate?, Are there new banking policies? Are there new import and export laws?
It is election season in Nigeria, party primaries are currently ongoing and the main election come up next year. Although politics is not a strength for me, I still try to keep up with news about politics in the ‘softest’ way possible. Hard news wears me out.
Participate During Election.
Do you have a voters card?
Most times, final election results come as a shock to those who actively participated and voted during election process. There are stories about how voting results are manipulated and how votes do not count.
This outcome have discouraged people from actively participating anymore but is that the best decision?
Not voting at all means living your country to fate and in the hands of someone you have not chosen. Asides, having the one tool that gives you the opportunity to choose your leader, having a voters card is one way to show you are being patriotic.
Obtain your voters card and votes if you are eligible.
Be Aware of Basic Notable Dates /Facts In Your Country.
Do you know how your country got it’s name?
Do you know who designed your country’s National flag?
I recently read a short story about the man (Mr Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi) who designed the Nigerian Flag in 1959 at 23 years. His design was chosen after he entered the competition while studying in London. He is now 82 years old, lives in Ibadan Nigeria and his house is painted in the Nigerian flag colours – Green and White. Very remarkable!
Read about past leaders, history and it related Ak to your country, different cultures, tourist sites, arts and languages in your country. It not only makes you patriotic but you are well informed and can start meaningful conversations with citizens or non citizens.
Naturally, we may tend to be intentional about being patriotic only during national holidays in our different countries but the truth is we can make up our mind to always be patriotic.
Share your thoughts
What ways do you show you are being patriotic to your country?
I always love to read from you