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Patriotism: Opportunity

Joined: 7/31/2013
Posts: 2
What is patriotism? To me, patriotism means loving one's country for the opportunities it provides. In other countries, many people do not have the opportunities available in America. For example, in China, couples are only allowed to have one child. In Vietnam, one can get arrested for producing music that the government does not approve of. In many countries good health care is not available, and many children cannot go to school. In some countries, children spend their days in landfills picking through garbage. Although the United States is by no means a perfect country, we should be thankful for the many opportunities it provides.

Relatively speaking, America is a place that provides a decent living and opportunities to its people. It is a country where every child has the chance to go to school and receive a free education. It is a place where every person, no matter what situation he or she is born into, has the opportunity to rise to a higher standard of living through hard work. We may take these opportunities for granted, but they are the reason that many people in other countries want to come to the United States. This is very important to me personally because my mother is an immigrant, and my father is the son of immigrants. I am thankful that this country gave my parents the opportunity to start a life and family together.

Another reason to love this country is for its protection of freedom of expression and other civil liberties that are guaranteed by the Constitution. Although there has been much news lately about surveillance activities conducted by the U.S. government that may infringe on civil liberties, one must remember that it is the very strong and robust free press in our country that has shed light on these activities and created calls for greater protections for civil liberties. The strong public reaction to these activities and the robust debate taking place among our elected representatives about the proper balance between national security and the need to protect civil liberties is evidence that our system of checks and balances is working properly.

There are times when I take for granted the freedoms and opportunities provided by America, but whenever I have a moment to myself, I think of the quality of life in other countries, and I think to myself, I am truly grateful to be living in the United States. While this does not mean that our country is perfect or that one should support every action taken by our government, I do believe it is important to reflect on the fact that this country provides many more opportunities for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, than are available in other countries. To put this all in simple terms, I am a proud patriot of the United States of America.
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