8 Ways Education and Patriotism Don’t Go Well Together
Sep 1, 2023   •   Tim Henares
8List.ph is published by ID8, Inc.
Sep 1, 2023   •   Tim Henares
Is an educated population a patriotic population? Should one follow the other? On the surface, it seems to be perfectly acceptable. After all, we have subjects in school that literally teach us about loving our own country.
Unfortunately, the deeper one’s education runs, the less these two concepts play nice with each other. Here are just 8 ways they don’t.
The more educated you are, the more you become a citizen of the world. Globalization and patriotism are practically diametrically opposed to each other, especially in a culture that is willing to overlook mediocrity in favor of the mediocrity in question coming from “one of our own.” As our horizons broaden, that willingness to turn a blind eye toward our country’s shortcomings becomes more and more difficult.
And we don’t mean that in terms of joining an MLM. The brand of patriotism that is currently being foisted upon us is the type that simply follows orders and never asks questions. “Sumunod na lang kasi tayo” is often a battle cry in support of just getting in lockstep with everyone else. But education wants us to be more open to other ways of doing things. Perhaps, even better ways of doing things.
And if there’s one thing that the current dispensation hates, it’s a critic. Nuff said? Nuff said.
People always say travel makes you become more culturally sensitive and aware, and there’s a lot of truth to that. Education takes you places and gives you that same awareness about people other than your own. And when that happens, suddenly thinking in exclusion of all these other people seems very small-minded and restrictive, indeed.
A huge part of our responsibility to our own country is to critique and advocate for change where needed, which means there is no room for blind patriotism because a truly educated person knows that these advocacies are for our own good, not just to make ourselves look bad.
Dissent is a necessary component of any developing person or society. If our ideas never go challenged, how would we know when something is no longer good for us? Education doesn’t just encourage critical thinking, it welcomes even the random, seemingly silly dissent we encounter from people who don’t know any better.
It is in honing one’s ideas against other ideas that we refine our knowledge – something a blind patriot cannot do since they are trapped in an echo chamber of their making. So even the “eh di wows” and “eh di ikaw na ang magalings” of the world are a welcome part of education, no matter how insipid they are.
While yes, the vast majority of private schools in the country are Catholic schools, it cannot be discounted that education by its nature has to march forward instead of remaining stagnant. With it comes ideas and notions that previous generations simply would never consider, and there are fewer more progressive ideas than an inherent mistrust of authority and capitalism – two things a blind patriot would never, ever second guess.
So can an educated person also be patriotic? Of course! But the best and shining examples of those aren’t the educated people who stumble upon power and end up being more of the same thing they were warned about during their education, but those who successfully learned that the word “patriot” should not always be preceded by the word “blind.” When you love your country, you fight for the ideals of the country, and if even those who run the country act against the interests of the country, then you have to question that, too.
Why do you think Captain America, perhaps the biggest symbol of American patriotism ever, is unbelievably progressive in his values? Surely, a Filipino patriot, a true one, can be more of the same – not for anything else, but for the betterment of the country.
So yes, education and patriotism can go together – but not the brand of “patriotism” that’s currently being peddled to us. How can we tell the difference? Why, education, of course!
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