YOU go East or West, home will still be the best place, so they say while reminding us that it is home where our story begins, it is the starting place for love, hope and dreams and the magic thing about home is that it feels good to leave, and it feels even better to come back.
This takes us to the doorstep of patriotism, a feeling that makes us feel strong, united and ready to die for Tanzania, a country God created for us.
Though, patriotism is a concept that has intrigued philosophers and political theorists for centuries, it is defined by Prof Stephen Nathanson at Northeastern University as special affection for the country; personal identification with the country; special concern for the well-being of the country; and willingness to sacrifice to promote the country’s good. Patriotism embodies sacrifice for the country to protect its honor.
It means identifying and understanding the ideals that the nation recognizes. For that matter, as a Tanzanian you can show patriotism by many ways including voting without failure, being proud of the country and paying taxes among many others.
Dwelling on this should first start at the grassroots by teaching children to love and respect the country and its national symbols. As parents, we should motivate, encourage and speak highly about the country in front of our kids.
We should teach them the national symbols like the National Flag and National Anthem as well as the decorum like standing whenever the national anthem is being played, because what a child learns in early ages will not disappear from his mind.
As Tanzanians, we should be constantly teaching our kids about our great leaders, who sacrificed their lives, property and time to make Tanzania become independent from the yoke of colonialism.
There are special names given to the birth/death anniversaries of leaders like Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, and roads named after them and once these are shared with children, definitely they will show concern, love and great patriotism for the country. We have National Holidays, which should not just mean another day off for kids when they do not have to go to school.
Tell them the story behind the holiday and struggles behind them. Let them participate in the programs on those days, be it singing patriotic songs or dancing on them.
Hoist the National Flag on your roof tops to get the feeling of a special occasion. Take them to watch the parade at your locality. The list can be long, but at the end of the day patriotism is what will make us shun corruption, and support our leaders in development projects for our own community benefits.