Editor's Comment

Inculcating a culture of patriotism

CHILDREN are our most valuable resource, as they are the leaders of our future.
The values and knowledge we impart in them today will definitely shape our tomorrow.
The Bible in Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
We therefore agree with Vice-President Inonge Wina’s call for teachers to inculcate a spirit of patriotism in pupils.
Mrs Wina made the call during the handover of various donated items to Arthur Wina Primary – a school named after her late husband in Lusaka.
Mrs Wina said her late husband was a true patriot who dedicated his whole career life to advocating the freedom of people from the shackles of poverty, illiteracy and ignorance.
If we are to raise more patriots who are going to carry on the great works of departed heroes like Mr Wina, we need to start inculcating patriotism values in our future generations now.
We all know that the freedom that we enjoy today was as a result of patriots led by first President Kenneth Kaunda, who sacrificed their personal interests for the greater good of the nation.
Patriotism is defined as the love and loyalty that one feels towards the country they live in.
Australian educational pioneer and psychologist William Burnham once said, “The essence of patriotism is the sacrifice of personal interest to public welfare.”
It is considered to be the duty of every citizen to be a patriot to his or her motherland, especially in its time of need.
Without patriotism, nations will be in disarray because everyone would be seeking their personal interests at the expense of national interest.
Patriotism is actually the glue that unites a country.
Patriotism also allows a nation to take pride in its past, present, and future achievements. And in doing so, it allows the public to always strive for progress, encourages citizens to take part in the nation’s decision-making, and helps in maintaining peace as well as fighting the various issues that threaten it.
According to one founding father of the United States, Benjamin Rush, patriotism is as much a virtue as justice, and is as necessary for the support of societies as natural affection is for the support of families.
It therefore goes without saying that for us to secure a bright future, we need to groom a cadre of young people who will be able to act in the country’s best interest even when they grow up.
If we are to succeed in achieving economic liberation, we need patriots just like our founding fathers who fought for our political freedom.
We need to groom citizens who will stand firm against corruption and other vices that negate the achievements of the country.
We need citizens who, if handed with power and privileges, will not only consider their interests but those of other citizens and the country as a whole.
In this regard, President Lungu also deserves commendation for donating 10 percent of his salary towards the marketeers’ empowerment fund meant to boost micro businesses. This is indeed a sure demonstration of his love for citizens and fellow countrymen.
President Lungu also validated his patriotism to the country when he stood resolute during the just-ended elections and told his supporters to refrain from violence because he was not worthy shedding blood for. Amid election tension, President Lungu assured the nation that he was ready to concede defeat if the ballot indicated so.
We also know of how President Lungu turned down one of the lucrative presidential entitlements of having a house built for him by Government after leaving office. This is a huge saving on the part of Government, which will go a long way in meeting the needs of the poor in our country.
Such are the virtues that make our society a better place.
It is, therefore, the responsibility of teachers as it is for parents and other stakeholders in society to ensure that we groom children who will know the value of making sacrifice for the welfare of society when they grow up.
Our children need to grow up knowing that they have a responsibility towards society.

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