I love this video from Van Jones and the Dream Project. He makes a beautiful point about the difference between ‘Cheap’ patriotism and ‘Deep’ patriotism. I resonates with me quite a bit. But I found myself wondering something more.
Should patriotism be limited to a love of a country? Might we think about patriotism toward people? Toward life? One of the problems I have about how patriotism has evolved in our world (which would likely fall under Jones’s ‘Cheap’ label) is how it positions people to think of themselves as better than others. Better than others simply based on where they are from1, even though none of us has any say in that matter. Much like we don’t pick our parents and family, we don’t pick where we were born.
In his video, Van Jones contrasts the founding reality of the US with its founding dream. He calls those who are fighting for the dream ‘Deep’ patriots. What about those of us who fight for that dream for everyone — regardless of what it looks like in their country? What if what we care about is lifting up everyone, which likely means doing some course correcting in this country? What are we patriots of?
I think it’s already said above — of life. We all have that in common.
I know that people can be born elsewhere, and become a patriot within their new home. Yet, I think it stands to reason that most folks tend to be patriots for their home country.↩