Every year around this time, I contemplate my feelings for my country. I am not by nature a flag-waving person, filled with passion and zeal for the United States of America. But I don't hate it either. Pride is just something I don't tend to feel towards my country. But I do feel love. I love the land, and I love the people. I can't think of a more beautiful country in the world, nor can I think of a place where so many different sorts of people live together, trying to get through life together. I do feel pride for that. But the idea of the government mingling in all of that, tempers it. I do love that we strive to be better. We want to be a good nation, run by the Constitution. And it's a darn-sight better than some other forms of government out there.
But there are things that bother me about us too. No matter what your political beliefs are, we all believe ours is the correct set. And everyone seems to want to foist their beliefs onto everybody else. I don't know why we can't coexist peacefully, but it's been 250ish years and we have yet to do so. Here's hoping we make a bit more progress in the next 250. What we stand for, and what we do, are often conflicting. And our nation's leadership seems to exemplify this very well, no matter which party is in power. It makes it difficult for me to be a flag-waver.
One of these years I hope to have it all figured out. But as with all things, it's the journey, not the arrival, that makes it all worth while. I may never be the type to love, with a deep passion, my country, but maybe I'll grow more comfortable with the feelings that I do have. I think, my greatest feeling of pride and love, come from the fact that I live in a country where I am allowed to not love it blindly and only say positive things about it. I have the right to be critical, and to expect better of it. Therein lies its greatest strength and is what sets it apart from other nations in the world. And that, is something that I can feel very proud of.