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Patriotism is the pride one takes in his or her community. It does not have to be affiliated with a particular religious or political ideology. That is to say that because someone chooses not to practice organized religion or politics, does not mean that they are "unpatriotic". The love and respect of one's neighborhood, community and country need not be organized at all.

I have known many individuals who care deeply for the land they were born in, but have never once stepped inside a voting booth or confessional box. They do, however, contribute in many ways and on many levels in providing for the welfare of the towns and country they live in. These contributions span everything from volunteer work at the local boys and girls clubs their kids attend, to the charitable contributions they make involving everything from PBS to global organizations such as Amnesty International.

Patriotism requires a much more personal level of commitment. Itís not just about the wars that were fought for this country, or the candidate which represents our segment of the world- itís about us. Itís the direct action we take in the communities we live in. It is the actual time we invest in the neighborhoods we live and work in, and the energy we invest in protecting the children we bring into our society. Itís the resources we provide for them. Itís the libraries, outreach centers and parks. Itís the places we create for our children to bond and cherish one another.

The citizenship we practice depends, ultimately, on the value systems we embrace. The respect we show one another results from the respect we show ourselves. It leads to the accountability we feel, both in our work and home lives. The choices we make determine the type of citizenship our children will practice, and also the amount of patriotism they will feel and generate to others as they make their way in the world. Lets remember that the hope and dreams that design the paths they will carve begin with us.

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The following comments are for "Patriotic Shifts"
by TracyR

More than Flags
I feel like you've got an interesting point, here, and would have liked to have seen it developed into something a little bit bigger than what you've got. Ok, patriotism is more than flags and voting. What prompted you to write this? Are you simply telling people you'd like to see them get involved in community projects, like boys and girls clubs, or are you making a more significant point related in some way to current events?

( Posted by: hazelfaern [Member] On: May 15, 2004 )

#10 still needs one addition in form only
I think you tackled one aspect of a huge, multifaceted subject quite well in this well stated opinion piece. Thank God, we are still entitled to our opinions here, regardless of whether they are politically correct or not. Not that your's isn't! Pros and cons could go on forever, but I think you did well with what you chose to talk about.

One thing Iíd like to see us all do... is put a blank line between paragraphs so itís easier to read. Iím using bi-focals and I still keep running lines together on this screen.

( Posted by: MaxiiJ [Member] On: May 15, 2004 )

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