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Patriotism: Journey to Self-Discovery

Joined: 7/15/2013
Posts: 1
Patriotism: a word that can send a million pictures racing through a brain. For one it might be the image of a soldier fighting with the love of his country in heart while for another it might be putting a bumper sticker on your car with the name of which president you were going to vote for on it. I have never fought in Iraq or really cared about voting so I just kept hoping that there was some middle ground so I could call myself a patriot too. But, you see, I am not a patriot by definition, and I will never be. I remember looking up the definition of a patriot, and the web came up with a million. The first answer was and I quote, “One’s love for their motherland.” Well, there went my dream of being a patriot because my “motherland” was India, and I only moved to America when I was seven. But just like the different images that the word patriotism raises in your brain, the definition of patriotism varies too. Even though I am from a foreign place, doesn’t mean that I can’t love, be proud, and serve for this country. Moving to America is like moving away from a house you’ve lived in forever to a newer, better place. At first, you are only depressed and scared by the thoughts of having to live in a new house, but once you get used to it, you care for it, love it, and make memories in it. America was my new house, and I fell in love with it the second I laid my eyes on it. I was ready to be called an American and patriot because it gave me a sense of pride since I was always proud of America for its ability to be different. A few years ago, the dream of being a patriot or even American was shattered by one question: “Where were you born?” When I said India, suddenly, I was different. I couldn’t be a patriot anymore because people said I was technically not even an American. I should’ve have know better than to listen, but those words jumbled in my head for a long time. One day I realized that I was sick of following the book definition of patriotism. In my mind, all the images of how I couldn’t be a patriot were replaced by the images of how I was one. I proudly hung the American flag in front of my house, I cheered for America in the Olympics, I spoke nothing but highly of America, and I would fight for America in a heartbeat. Finally, in my mind, the book definition of patriotism was replaced by the only definition that mattered: the definition of the heart. I may not be an American and this may not be my “motherland”, but I have love, respect, and devotion to America, and that’s how I knew I was a patriot.
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