Who is a true patriot?
You would think it would be easy to be a true patriot in a free country like the USA. Who doesn’t want this kind of freedom? Who doesn’t want to live in this kind of country?
But with freedom comes the inherent right to be an independent thinker. If we are both thinking independently, what you think is loyal and just, may not be what I think is loyal and just. What is really interesting is that two people, who fundamentally believe the same things, can have totally different responses when their beliefs are challenged.
In every country there is a tension between individuals, people groups, generations, schools, religions, cities, states and political groups. But in a free country this tension is often created by our freedom to speak out in accordance with our beliefs, values, and loyalties. It becomes apparent that we don’t all have the same beliefs, don’t agree about what we should value and don’t have the same priorities when it comes to loyalty.
So this week, as we celebrate our independence, are we truly able to be grateful for this independence that allows others to think differently than we think, to have a different world view, a different sense of what it means to be patriotic? Do we have a spirit that allows a humble, kind response to the differences and the tension created by our freedom? Good questions for this holiday weekend. Have a wonderful Independence Day!
Give generously and love, expecting nothing in return.