By ‘Lizzy D’
Have you ever worn an outfit inspired by our country’s vibrant flag? Have you ever declared that you are proud to be Trini? I know I have, and I’m sure many of you have. The truth is that most of the time, those are merely shallow words and deeds.
I used to believe it was simply a matter of loving your nation, but that is a very broad term. I imagine gorgeous beaches, the land my forefathers walked on, the people and how we are all connected, and the food we all enjoy when I think about Trinidad and Tobago. Let us consider what it means to love your country properly in light of that: When you’re walking, do you see garbage on the street? I don’t feel we can say the person who littered was patriotic, but rather, I think of the person who picked it up and I feel this is exemplary of the true love of country.
Have you ever considered what it means to be patriotic? You may call it “loving your nation.” Patriotism, as defined by the Oxford Dictionary is “dedication to and vigorous support for one’s country.” Devotion and vigorous support are two words/phrases that could never be used to justify any form of sleazy behaviour. So, to return to our original question, what is patriotism?
If we think about it, patriotism is whatever we do as citizens that has a beneficial impact on our country. So, what makes receiving an education so patriotic? Well, you receive an education so that you can contribute to society. Does this imply that working is patriotic? Yes! As a result of your economic contribution. There are many things that we overlook that would be beneficial to our country. One of them is treating each other with respect.
We sometimes fail to remember that we are all unique and have distinct ways of thinking. We may be able to understand and have patience if we consider things from many angles. For example, when my uncle went to buy some items including a “goodie,” he saw the price had increased slightly. He made a remark about it, which enraged the shopkeeper, who gave him the new pricing sheet and informed him that the price had indeed increased. He was perplexed by her actions. However, if we look at it from her perspective, this was most likely a query she received from a number of customers that day.
Being a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago is more than a title; it is a responsibility that we all share. Our watchwords are Discipline, Production, and Tolerance; we should be disciplined, productive, and tolerant, and I believe that is what it means to be patriotic; it is not just what we say, but also what we do. Yes, we can call ourselves Trinbagonians, and we’re proud of it, but as the saying goes, actions speak louder than words.