Youths and nationhood: Patriotism should drive youths forward. The word patriotism itself originated from the Greek words patriōtēs (from the same country) and patris (fatherland), and commonly described as the feeling of love and affection for the homeland. No matter how complex the concept of patriotism has developed through time, the fundamental value remains – that is love.
Often, youths are quick to be blamed for the lack of patriotism, particularly by the older generations. The latter would reminisce on their sacrifices of lives, sweat and tears for the sake of the country. Youths would then be perceived as lacking in such noble traits and acts.
Youths are defined by their social circles.
To be honest, the older generations’ claim is not entirely wrong. Instead of clinging to the unseen past, youths generally tend to pay attention to whatever is currently happening in their social circle and thus, devote their love to it.
To make matters worse, the social circles of youths today are filled with the atmosphere of individualism, thanks to the invasive social media . Today, everyone’s worth is unfortunately judged by their public ‘performance’ on the net.
That is why, if the circle of the youths is infected by FOMO (fear of missing out), for instance, they will direct their craze in the service of FOMO.
On the other hand, if the prevailing circumstance involving the youths is about living in fear of their lives, their passion will push them to sacrifice whatever it takes to bail them and everyone else out. This was what happened to the older generations when they lived such life during their time of youth.
Youth patriotism is for the promise of betterment.
One good thing about patriotism is that beyond mere love, the beholder always desires for the betterment of the country.
For the older generations experiencing colonialism and persecution, the betterment that defined their patriotism was independence.
For the patriotic youths of today already born in independence, their definition of betterment is the improved performance of the country – economically, politically and socially.
Thus, it is quite unfair to regard the youths today as non-patriotic just because their definition and act of patriotism are not the same as their predecessors.
If back then we had battle warriors, today we have keyboard warriors among youths fighting for the betterment of the country. We can see youths voicing out their dissatisfaction against the wrongdoings and corruptions happening in the country.
Such noble acts are expressed out of the youth’s love for the country. Their patriotism is about their genuine desires for the country to move forward for a better and meaningful life for all.
The betrayal of youth patriotism
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An issue with youth patriotism is how can it be sustained when the promise of betterment for the nation is regularly betrayed? Not only that persistent betrayal hurts, it also leads to emotional fatigue and burnout.
There is no other bigger betrayal of the youths’ love of their country than conniving, deceitful, incompetent, and non-patriotic politicians fighting over positions of power for the sake of selfish influence and affluence.
Unashamedly, these political hypocrites keep exploiting the slogan “for the people, for the country” to justify their dirty works while appearing as noble patriots at the same time.
It is this type of politicians that are betraying the youths’ love for the country. Deceit after deceit, the youths eventually become disillusioned with the promise of betterment for the country. Their spirit of patriotism fades out into despair.
Then these politicians have the cheek to act shocked and concerned about why the youths of today lack patriotism. What a painful joke.