weather icon Clear

True patriots take action, contribute to society

The parade is over. The fireworks are silent. The celebration has ended. What’s left? Patriotism? That’s what the Fourth of July is all about, isn’t it?

What is patriotism? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, patriotism is love for or devotion to one’s country. So, what is love for or devotion to one’s country? To me, showing love for or devotion to one’s country is as individual as each person. Today, as in past decades, there is a collective view of patriotism, but what does an individual definition of patriotism look like?

I believe showing and living a patriotic life means participating in our democratic process by voting. If a person is not registered to vote and has never cast a ballot, that person cannot claim to be patriotic. Those living in the U.S. may have a right to say whatever they want, but without casting a ballot, those words are hollow, meaningless and irrelevant.

What has patriotism looked like in the past to someone like Thomas Paine? In the “Rights of Man,” he said: “When it shall be said in any country in the world my poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want; the taxes are not oppressive; the rational world is my friend, because I am a friend of its happiness: When these things can be said, then may that country boast its Constitution and its Government.” I don’t know if Paine was specifically talking about patriotism, but his quote is quite applicable to me when I think of patriotism.

Patriotism should be about deeds, not a simple wave of a flag or shooting off fireworks or empty bragging that one’s country is the best in the world.

I question a country’s collective patriotism when that country, our country, has millions who are in distress for lack of proper food, housing and medical care. Some will instantly respond that those are not our problems to resolve, it’s someone else’s responsibility and it’s their own fault; but, if you are a human being, you do have to be answerable to the plight of others. Everyone who pays any type of tax has a responsibility to voice his/her opinion regarding how taxes are spent, unless, of course, one never takes part in casting a ballot.

One can be patriotic and proud of one’s country, but with that comes responsibility and effort, and I don’t mean just waving a flag and shooting off fireworks.

If we want a city, state and country to be proud of and wave a flag for, we should be looking into the faces of those in distress and feel what they feel. We should look into the faces of our children and figure out what we are leaving them.

Our own small piece of the planet needs our help. We can take a few minutes each day to protect our space. We can take a moment to encourage a neighbor to vote or drive them to a polling place. We can spend some time volunteering for a candidate who has the welfare of the community in their platform. We can donate time or money to any number of nonprofits.

It’s easy to wave a flag, but it takes time, our time, to make that action mean something. Simply wearing a T-shirt or a cap with a slogan to show patriotism is easy; using time and effort to ease the distress of fellow humans is difficult.

All the pain and suffering in the world will never be eradicated, but that doesn’t mean one gives up or doesn’t attempt to ease it in some way, no matter how insignificant one thinks their contribution might be. One either cares or not. One either acts or doesn’t. One either takes responsibility or pushes it off on someone else.

We need talk to each other about what we agree upon. We can always find disagreements. We proclaim vociferously that we care about hungry kids and seniors and homeless veterans. We say voting is important. That’s a lot of agreement to me. Do we have some time between flag waving and fireworks to work?

Rose Ann Miele is a journalist and was public information officer for Boulder City for nine years. She can be reached at roseannrab@hotmail.com or at 702-339-9082.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Electric vehicles not really friendly to environment

As somewhat of a gearhead, I am fascinated with the newest technologies relating to electric-powered vehicles, otherwise known as EVs. Tesla is thought to be the leader in these technologies. Still, others, such as Hyundai, Honda, Toyota and Kia, along with the major car manufacturers in the USA, have been making significant strides in developing electric vehicles with outstanding performance.

Pictures of past tell many stories

I know this is an opinion column and what I’ve written here is less of an opinion piece and more of an amusing anecdote. I hope you’ll forgive me for that. It was simply too good not to share and I think it’s a nice, if mundane, example of why Boulder City is such a lovely place to live.

Water conservation efforts to thwart drought delusional

I was entering my junior year at Boulder City High School when Lake Mead reached its top elevation of 1,225 feet in 1983. Water rushed over Hoover Dam’s fully extended spillway gates with such force that even an umbrella didn’t keep us dry from the downpour caused by its rebounding spray. Since then, the lake has dropped 185 feet, including a 170-foot decline over the last 22 years during the worst Colorado River system drought in recorded history.

Guest commentary: Are fair elections possible in digital age?

I am wondering whether or not we should be paying attention to how our elections are being conducted in Nevada as to whether or not our votes are actually counted fairly. I suspect that the voting machines have a lot to do with the situation.

A retreat to push us forward

Succeeding in today’s business climate is not an easy task. It’s even more challenging for women, who have had to overcome decades of inequality in the workplace while juggling traditional roles of keeper of the home and family.

Keep ‘wet blankets’ out of water talks

“Blanket statements” are usually meant to cover wide swaths of a topic. A “wet blanket,” on the other hand, implies stifling everything it touches or, in this context, greatly limiting a topic’s discussion. If this column comes somewhere between one or the other, I’ll consider it a success.

Reparations needed from president’s supporters

What exactly are reparations? The Merriam-Webster definition is: “The act of making amends, offering expiation or giving satisfaction for a wrong, injury, or something done or given as amends.”

Human presence essential for meaningful conversation

For those I speak to in person, I am better able to receive kindness, love and meaning. The consciousness of the soul is available from our hearts. For those who are willing to continue to communicate in person, there can continue to be love flowing from the hearts of each person in any conversation.

Balance between work, school volunteering tough to find

Back-to-school is one of my favorite times of the year. I loved school supply shopping as a kid and now, as a parent, I love taking my kids shopping for their school supplies. Watching my daughter choose from the colorful folders with her supply list in hand is too adorable for words. I genuinely enjoy attending the back-to-school nights, meeting my children’s teachers and learning about their curriculum for the year. But guilt often overshadows that excitement when the teachers try to rope parents into joining the parent-teacher organization.