Sacrifice and Service
“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.” ~Mark Twain
Today, Memorial Day, we remember and honor all the veterans who sacrificed their lives for their country. They are called patriots.
But I think that today’s interpretation of what makes a patriot has become skewed.
Today’s patriotism is demonstrated by protestors screaming to reopen the economy, refusing to wear protective masks, and coughing on store employees who are only trying to do their job.
Today’s patriot seems more inclined to hug the flag and wave a bible than they are to love their neighbor and serve their country.
I like to believe I’m a compassionate person. I try. But I’m tired of trying to find some compassion for folks who suggest that caring about the safety of others makes a person who wears a mask unpatriotic—or a wimp.
They wear me out. Too much anger, too much fear, too much selfish, willful ignorance.
Let us not forget: Patriotism is not determined by support for an individual but rather an office, an ideal, a dream.
Personally, wearing a mask and social distancing seems a small sacrifice to make for the greater good of the world and all the patriots who inhabit it, no matter who they support politically.
Today, we honor those who died for their country. That’s a sacrifice.
Tomorrow, will we honor those still living? Will we seek long-term solutions and forsake short-term gratification?
Because I’d sure rather live as a patriot than die as one.
“I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.” ~James Baldwin