Archive for June 27th, 2011

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A question of loyalty

June 27, 2011

Elsewhere in cyberspace, there is a small debate occurring, predominantly amongst the British who live permanently in Ukraine over the subject of patriotism. At the core is of this would seem to be a question of loyalty. It is quite easy to think that loyalty to your nation comes automatically and no matter how much you may moan or groan about the current state of your own nation, you will always be loyal to it when push comes to shove.

Generally that is quite true when you live in the nation of your birth. It may become less clear cut for a person married to a foreign national having lived in their nation for many, many years. You have a loyalty to your wife, children, extended family and nation you live in which has been sharpened by years of living outside you home nation, whilst at the same time, your interest and loyalty to your own nation may become somewhat blunted, whilst it still remains.

Your perspectives of not only the nation you live in but the nation in which you were born inherently change due to the fact you are no longer on the outside looking in or conversely on the inside looking out. Loyalty, particularly blind loyalty, has the tendency to pass patriotism by and leads to nationalism which can be a very ugly place to find yourself.

The world works in shades of grey. There is no black and white unless you have ventured into the realms of nationalism. That is my position in the aforementioned discussion. Nationalism is nothing more than blind loyalty, patriotism is about integrity.

Retaining integrity makes it far easier to deal with any conflicts of ideas or actions when deciding which side of an argument you take if your loyalties are divided. Fortunately such decisions are rarely an issue for a Brit in Ukraine, so quite why the discussion started I’m not sure.

Still, it is a rather difficult hypothetical question if you judge it from the perspective of loyalty and not from that of integrity.

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