What It Really Means to be Patriotic?

A country or a nation composes of citizens that live up their lives looking after their families, their community, and of course, the country itself. And being a citizen comes up with respective duties and responsibilities needed in order to improve and protect the  sovereignty and welfare of the Philippine Republic where in return it benefits all of the citizens of the nation for the efforts given. 

With various issues from Mandatory ROTC to the perceived warmongering attitudes in dealing with the West Philippine Sea disputes, let us dwell and share thoughts with regards to this ever-relevant issue of this time period.

Mandatory ROTC goes like this, cadets marching on the field. Photo Source
With the present situation that is brewing up beyond the coastlines of Palawan as well as the number of bravado that it constitutes, a typical civilian may end up yapping on blasting up Chinese outpost to smithereens or somewhat gone disappointed with the Freedom of Navigation Patrols made by foreign navies in the West Philippine Sea. 

To add it further, the primary aim of the Mandatory ROTC which is to make a more patriotic and militarily-disciplined citizens out of Senior High School and College Students is somewhat gone vague in the eyes of those that have undertaken the program where, unlike its voluntary equivalent, may loss all the essence of what it means to defend the country and to have the will of improving self-discipline all because that these things are being enforced by pressure to the students, with its significance gone once graduated except to the very few who is willing to serve the nation.

These things prompts a number of people especially the ones in military service to somewhat convince civilians to join or enlist to the Armed Forces in order to measure the means of being patriotic. 

No doubt on that, given that the sweat and blood of the soldiers are the ones that are given in exchange of the cherished freedom we experience today. However, being patriotic isn't being limited to be in active military service or to endure what Mandatory ROTC is to bring on a student. 

It isn't all about bravado as well simply based on what lies to the surface without barely scratching the details of the way military forces operates, their supply chain, or in other highly-technical matters that a civilian simply have a clue, or not at all.

In fact, the activities that are being made everyday suffice the needs on supporting nationalism or to be patriotic in a sense that what perceives as an insignificant thing or a routine one is actually a driving force for the nation's growth and development where in it supplants the needs of the military in the name of national security. All what it needs for a person to see is a change of perspective when looking on patriotic stance.

Hence, the details below will provide what it means to be patriotic in the sense that a small thing definitely defines the success of the nation as a whole. And to add it up, these things are instilled even in the most basic levels all the way back when we were still kids. At the end of this writeup, the primary aim is to provide knowledge on the things needed with regards of helping the nation on a humble, patriotic way.

An Editorial Cartoon of the Manila Times on "Keyboard Warriors"
that thinks that there is no other way to deal the situation but
either to declare war...or not. 
Patriotic leverages are at times being showed up on Social Media where at times, it is being lined up with various agendas on the line. Now, let us discuss on the editorial cartoon made by the Manila Times shown above. 

On the one point of view, it definitely pertains to the ones who are brave online and the ones that prefers conflict without thinking of the consequences it may bring to the nation and its security. On the other hand, it also tells another thing. That is, subduing to the interest of the enemy in order to keep such war from happening and feeling all of its harshest of consequences. How is that so? 

The message of the editorial cartoon limits to two things - to wage war or not. It does not even consider other things such as soft power like diplomatic pressure or putting a stand where there is the will to defend the nation. Nevertheless though, this creation of art definitely sends the message across the ones who are noisy enough in the internet that waging conflicts or blasting their outposts out of the water is the best thing that one can do. But to take note also that things shall not be tantamount to simply giving in to the demands which defeats the essence of sovereignty.

The details above provides the glimpse on how things view with regards on measuring patriotism on a person. This is in a sense that a range of understanding or defining patriotism varies on each individual's take with its general definition which is pertaining to a citizen's loyalty and support for the country and its interest. 

The ones in uniform takes their job as one way to support the nation in a way that their lives are to sacrifice all in the name of peace and security for the motherland they love as well as their family that relies in it. It is of no surprise if a personnel suggests to citizens such as "keyboard warriors" depicted above that drafting to military service is the best way for them to feel what it means to be patriotic, in a harsh, realistic way possible than powerful blasts of firepower that is only seen on video or in photographs. 

Well, on that note, the military people simply gives an idea that war by any sense is a harsh, destructive attrition that all nations prevents from happening especially in heated conflicts like this one considering that conflict is beyond from what is simply firepower and destruction of enemy targets. 

Hence, it is best to understand things more rather than just calling for something that is simply not favorable where there are other ways to resolve things like the contested waters of the West Philippine Sea.

Read: Ways of Promoting Patriotism - The Pitzviews Blogsite

Now, we provided a link to our sister page where it writes about the ways of promoting patriotism in a sense that these are the healthy way to propagate it as well as giving an idea that Patriotism goes in many ways aside from warmongering or implementing a program that is not applicable to all of the youth. 

Hence, to give us an idea, there are small ways to contribute to the nation in a sense where, a citizen can be considered a patriotic person in his or her own ways.

1. Working Functionally

Working in the private company or, better yet, working on a government office is at first glance, a nice thing where contributing on the family's welfare and development is something that every employed member shall do. And there is just more than simply doing routine jobs in every field ranging from the administrative offices to hospitals and military bases. 

Working functionally is in itself a patriotic act where, regardless of being a uniformed personnel or not, a soldier or a professional of respective fields, or simply being a rank and file personnel in the office, each and everyone obtains their respective duties and responsibilities where, albeit its small footprint, is something that contributes to the economic development of the nation as well as addressing respective important matters ranging from food security to welfare of reformed persons in penitentiaries as well as sacrificing blood, time and sweat for the betterment not only of the family, but also of the community, the city, the province and overall, the country. 

This is where that doing the duties and responsibilities is far beyond what is expected, and also beyond the salaries, benefits and job stability offers wherein these in itself are a big plus on the pursuance of a better life as well as for the betterment of the family's welfare and also of the nation in terms of its economy, health, social development, infrastructure and national defense matters.

Hence, being a uniformed personnel, although ideal if one is really willing to sacrifice to the nation he or she loves, is not a prerequisite for everyone to follow especially in terms of measuring patriotism. 

What it means is that, simply by being an everyday civilian working on respective fields like being on a respective, reputable government agency is sufficient enough for the contribution of the country's development where in it benefits the armed forces where each and everyone upholds their duties and responsibilities in a sense that it gives significance of what it means to be a country and its cherished sovereignty.

2. Paying Taxes

This is the primary reason why citizens of the nation at times concerned with regards to the expenditures of the government especially in terms of education, infrastructure, social development, health, and of course, defense. Although that the citizens have a say about things with regards to the government affairs like military and defense-related issues, it is the folks within the ranks or in the technical positions are the ones who know better what is best and what is not. Hence, the best judgement is let these people do their respective jobs well and, should any anomalies comes at hand, a citizen can criticize in a constructive way where the government processes and mechanisms will work the rest.

Now, on the payment itself. It is taken note that the TRAIN LAW takes its toll on the typical citizenry especially on the continuous inflation of primary commodities especially on the ones that have salary smaller than the minimum wage and the ones that are unemployed. 

Well, this is simply one part of the story where the other part pertains to the services that the government is set to materialize. Just recently, the Department of National Defense is set to materialize plans for the Multirole Fighter Program and other plans in the Horizon 2 where, just like any other procurement projects, derived from the people's taxes as well as other sources such as the proceeds from Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA)'s transactions. Now, one will ask that as a taxpayer, the citizen requests that the military shall procure assets that obtains huge firepower that will blast any enemy out of the open. 

That is in case, a simple citizen request where those in the know will help that person understand what it means to procure highly-technical military equipment where specifications, maintenance, after-support and logistics being the highest of considerations over this matter. 

Hence, from there the person will becoming more educated not only about technicalities of the military assets but also on the bureaucratic process that passes on any government transactions, defense-related ones included.

To sum it up, giving taxes is one way to be a patriotic person where any contribution is something that will keep the government operating given that this is one of the primary sources of the government funding required to provide its services as well as to make the military capable of doing its mandated duty to protect the motherland. Adding it further, it is more appropriate to be an informed taxpayer where rather than giving useless ideas that does not fit the story. 

Not only that, being informed also means making constructive opinions that help improve things up as well as getting to know about technicalities which in turn, provides an idealistic thought which in itself a patriotic move on its own.

3. Instilling Discipline and Patriotism -- In Different Ways

Instilling discipline and patriotism is what Mandatory ROTC aspires to aim for the youth of the nation where on that specific age, they are expected to be highly-disciplined (as far as military discipline is concerned) and highly-patriotic that they will know how to love the country in their respective wholeheartedness. 

Although such move is welcoming in some sense, the idea in its entirety is considered unnecessary and non-ideal considering that first, there are other ways of instilling discipline and patriotism and second, not all of those who are part of the curriculum are willing to be active personnel in the armed forces, if not being a reservist in the long run given that respective individuals have their own respective goals in life. 

Moreover, in those things other than being an enlistee, understanding discipline and patriotism in some other way may somewhat inspires the individual to push his or her desire to serve the nation in some other way, given that his or her capabilities is of beneficial use as well as this instills the principle that national sovereignty is something that needs to be cherished and taken care of given that each and everyone's life and freedom lies in it. 

So, one may ask: What are those alternatives by the way? The answer lies in these two things: Home, and School. This means that discipline starts on each and every parent's obligation on taking care of their children in the sense that molding them into helpful citizens of the nation that contributes for the betterment of society is really something if being taught at home alongside etiquette and moral values. 

Patriotism is the role of the teachers at school where, flag ceremonies and retreats are being observed, history lessons and culture being taught and providing the knowledge of how to love the country alongside molding future professionals for national economic development in which this may find helpful as the children become contributors of the better nation. 

Hence, these things, whatever the ways being given, is in each and every way helpful in instilling patriotism and discipline for this nation's citizens to have where in the name of hopes and dreams, inspirations and aspirations, these things are a catalyst of having a better nation composing of citizens that are cherishing and protecting it, and it is better in a way that it comes voluntarily than making it as a measurement or a prerequisite.

It is with honor and salutations that we cherish the country that
in some way provides us the goodness in living. Photo from Inquirer
Discipline and Patriotism is something that an individual aspires to have where in each and every way, these things will consequently influence the way they live should these things allow them to do so. Furthermore, every citizen have their respective roles to play where regardless of how big or small the contribution is, these things upon accumulation is something that propels the nation on its intended direction.

What matters here is that, each and every citizen of this nation shall unite with regards of safeguarding the integrity and welfare of the Philippine Sovereignty in its entirety where in terms of economic, health, social, educative and security matters, it is the citizens who will benefit where this matters affect the way of living of each individual in the country where having satisfaction on government services, primary commodities, being safe or life in itself in general is something cherishable for the people.

Therefore, it shall be willingly instill to the citizenry that each and everyone fills in the shoes of making the advocacy, even in simplest of way, to promote nationalistic ways in a sense that it shall be centered to the country and its attributes in general while setting aside political and cultural differences. In this way, better things will be attain on what it means of cherishing the country, its sovereignty and the people who sacrificed blood and sweat for it.

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