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April 18, 2011


Today is Patriot’s Day in Massachusetts.  I thought today would be about honoring our past ancestors and such, but everyone keeps telling me that it’s really just about the Boston Marathon and how people can’t get to their downtown offices.  The fastest way for history to be forgotten is to honor it with a holiday.  I’m pretty sure I heard that somewhere by someone famous.

In honor of Patriot’s Day, I wanted to share something I read in Time Magazine this week.  Austin Ramzy writes in “The Activist Artist of China” about Ai Weiwei’s rebellion against the Chinese communist government.  In his essay, he retells the conversation that Ai had with his dying father.

“This is your country,” his father told him as he was dying. “Don’t be polite.”

What a genius!  I completely agree.  You ought to be the toughest critique of the country that you love and most affiliate with.  I agree with this sentiment in most areas of my life.  High expectations with appropriate supports are absolutely necessary if people are to meet their highest potentials.  The same should be true of our country because it is comprised with these very same people.

There seems to be too much silence around important government issues and decisions for my taste.  Patriotism means expecting the best from your country because you know it can be the best.  Don’t lose faith, and certainly don’t lower your expectations.  Sure, there are dumb politicians everywhere and uninformed people vote for them.  But that, too, is our problem.  We must get up and out, move and shake, scream and shoot.  Let our voices be heard.

Patriotism means expecting the best from our country and fellow country folks because they have the potential to be the best.

If this is your country, expect it to be the best for you!


From → Cat, Life

One Comment
  1. I love this sentiment–so true. I often forget how lucky we are to live in a country where we CAN have that kind of dialogue and debate about our country and how to make it the best it can possibly be.

    I didn’t even realize today was Patriot’s Day–loved this post! Now I want to read that NYTimes article, too. (I saw the headlines, but didn’t read the story yet.)

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