For most people, there is only one home. There is an African proverb that says, “wherever the birds fly to, they must come back home to roost when the sun heads for the sea”. In other words, in the current climate of globalization and globetrotting, there is the temptation to believe that there are many alternative homes. You may have dual citizenship, be a full resident of the other country and enjoy the rights to fit in but I think the chance of fully belonging to a place as you would in your home country is very slim. One writer says that home is where the heart is and maybe I might sound like a soothsayer but in truth, there is always the need to connect with our land. East or West, home is just the place to be. And these are some of the reasons why being a patriotic citizen of this country is a must-do for each one of us who call Kenya home.
From our athletes to our breathtaking tourist destination sites to our rich cultural histories, there is no doubt that Kenya is a great country that should move us to work together and make it better. One way of doing this is through being patriotic – loving our country in the way only people who understand that they have no other home can and should.
Well, it is not just because the law of the land calls upon you to be patriotic. Here are reasons why being patriotic is actually important.
- Patriotism is our only hope against wrong-doing
The Why Center defines patriotism as the love and loyalty that we feel towards the country that we live in. This center argues that this love and loyalty is very important if at all we are to hold our country together and protect it against the evils that destroy it such as, money laundering, corruption and the lack of democracy. It is only after an individual feels this love and devotion to their country that they can be able to stand up and defend it; very vital for the protection and preservation of the country both for ourselves and the future generations.
- Patriotism makes us desire to push our country forward
We have been a developing country since I started going to school and as much as this comes with its own set of challenges, it is only Kenya that is ever really, truly mine. You can visit other developed countries and enjoy their flawless customer service but deep inside, there is the knowledge that this development and this flawlessness is not really yours. It is only a feeling of love and respect towards your country that will push an individual to put in their best. Vanessa Raffaele writing for The Odyssey Online says that patriotism is not the belief that one’s country is not the best country under the sun but an awareness that is driven by both respect and love to push once country forward and see it flourish and realize all its potential.
- Patriotism ensures that countries are able to rise against chaos and attacks
It is patriotism that makes soldiers willing to go to war with an enemy country and even put their lives on the line. KnowsWhy.com makes a case for how an overflowing emotion of patriotism becomes more evident in countries during times of attacks or difficulty. In Kenya, such scenarios will include Kenyans rallying together for the Kenyans for Kenya to fight hunger or how we so easily rally behind cancer patients as they raise funds for treatment for example or how we came together to stop CNN from peddling stereotypes about our country; remember #someonetellCNN?
It is the feeling of love and respect towards our fellow compatriots and our country that makes us do this. This spirit is written in patriotism.
The article further argues that, without patriotism nations would still be in chaos. People would be enslaved by other countries as there would be no true push to rise above adversity. Without patriotism, people would not be able to appreciate the efforts done by the heroes before them in order to attain the freedom that most countries are enjoying today.
Patriotism allows a nation to take pride of the country’s past, present and future achievements.
- Patriotism brings people together
When we feel patriotic about our country, we are better placed to stand and rise against the differences that dent our country. Brianna Grafton writing on whether patriotism still matters on Junior Dispatch notes that patriotism brings people together and when a country is united, then they can stand together. This is the perspective of a young writer just waking up to the ideas of unity and patriotism. Patriotism also promotes respect and love for one another and for our natural resources which are prerequisites for development.