Sunday, February 05, 2017

The Pride of a Nation

However, you only need to take a quick look at YouTube to unearth the uncomfortable tensions that exist between nations and their citizens when it comes to their national pride. For each war or skirmish there are clips on You Tube which pitch one country against another and claim that their own armies, navies or air forces are better than the next. These flag waving movie clips, along with rousing and inspirational music accompaniment bring out the worst of people in terms of the comments left by visitors.

In any war or battle, in any cause or revolution, there are casualties. For every glorified military success there are failures in terms of the mothers of sons who never return home. How interesting then that we shout about the glory of our military and the pride of our nations whilst brushing the debris and destruction of war under the carpet.

Please, do not think that I am not proud of my country. I am. In fact I am proud of the two countries that I have been fortunate to spend most of my life in. As I have become older and more mature I have become wary and nervous of misplaced pride. Yes, I am proud of the achievements of my countries. I am proud that the people have stood up for their beliefs.

What I am not proud of is citizens of those countries who taunt, deride and spread hate by waving the flag of our nations in an inappropriate manner. Why would you do this? Why is it so important to you that you shout from the rooftops about how your countries armed forces will destroy the armed forces of countries that you just happen not to like for whatever reason you have not to like them?

What a shame then that this passion for your nation could not be put to better use by engaging with citizens from other nations and befriending them. People are people wherever they may come from. The fact that you are a Christian, a Jew or a Muslim is something that happened by default. If you were born in the USA you might be Christian and if you were born in Tunisia you might be Muslim. Where then is the logic behind your hate for your fellow mankind?

We only need to take a look at what is happening in Syria and in Iraq to realise that the deep seated hatred between the warring parties stems from a major flaw in our human nature. In the same way that we feel comfortable with our own people, and our respective countries, we have a deep mistrust of other countries whose languages, culture and religion are different to our own.

Perhaps it is time for us all to grow up and accept that our governments, the respective governments of other nations and those that are supposed to represent us are told in no uncertain terms that we do not want our nations to go to war for any other cause than for the ultimate defence of our own respective lands and peoples, and that this would only take place as a last resort when every other negotiation and avenue has been explored and ultimately failed.

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