Flags Lining Street

Am I a Good American?

I took a walk yesterday and noticed the American flags that lined my street. It was 9/11 and an important day of remembrance so I wasn’t surprised to see them. I was, however, surprised when an unexpected feeling washed over me:

Guilt.

It took me a minute to put a name on it but as I stood and looked at those flags, I felt an unmistakable sense of guilt and a question popped into my mind:

Am I a bad American?

It wasn’t something that had ever occurred to me before. I’ve always been proud of my country and felt that I knew my place in it but I’m not so sure anymore. The things I feel strongly about, like freedom of speech and the belief that all men and women are created equal, are actually topics of debate now. Concepts that have always been pillars of truth to me are now disputed and sometimes even considered unpatriotic. In fact, about 50% of my country disagrees with my core and most basic beliefs.

So who is right? What does patriotism mean when an entire country is split on what is patriotic? Continue reading →