Love our country rationally
When I entered college, I became interested in reading news about our country. I only read those positive news, and refused to read negative ones. If someone showed me dark side of our country, I would naturally defend or find excuse for it. I also liked to see our people united to boycott Japanese goods, boycott Carrefour. I hated Japanese, and I even listened to rap songs from the internet that abuse them. I thought those were loving our country and I was proud of those actions.
With the increase of my knowledge and well understanding of this world, I begin to suspect those actions. Are these kinds of things really loving our country? Yes, but they are all blind loves, blind patriotism.
So what is loving one's country?
Country is just an abstract noun. Loving one's country is essentially loving the people in this country. If you boycott Japanese goods or Careefour, yes, those foreign companies will earn less money. Then what about our people working in those companies? Actually, we need those companies more than they do to increase our employment. Boycotting them cannot make us stronger but poorer, just like we boycotting the whole western world before the reform and opening-up.
If you love your country, you want to do everything you can to make it better.Criticism is the best motivation to make our country better. It is the highest level of loving our country. Like human beings, no country is perfect. From the macro point of view, our country is more prosperous than it use to be. (You know, 2nd place GDP, Olympics, World Exposition, Asian Games.) But when it comes to details, there are still so many problems, (like high house price and inflation, food safety, forced demolition, judicial injustice, political corruption.) We shouldn't refuse to accept the flaws of our country. On the contrary, we should actively discover those flaws so that we can fix them.
(We don't need to criticize other country's same problems as ours's excuse. I think most of us don't want to criticize other countries, like America or England, to make them better.)
Narrow nationalism isn't really loving our country. Some people gloated about Japan's earthquake when it happened. Anyone who is rational would see that was shameful. Yes, we should'nt forget the history, but it is for preventing that happen again not for hatred or even revenge. Peoples are innocent, don't lose our humanity. Belittling others cannot raise our reputation, it only belittles ourselves.
Blindly following the leader or government's order isn't really loving one's country. Japanese soldiers in aggression war against us also thought they love their country. Red guards in culture revolution also thought they love their country. But they were wrong. Leaders or governors are humans, they also can be wrong, especially when they are for their own power and interests. We should use our own mind, humanity, common sense to judge this.
Blind patriotism can be dangerous. Sometimes it can causes war or humanitarian catastrophe.
So how to rationally love our country?
To love our country rationally. We should have a well understanding of our histories, culture, government and society, not only from our point of view, but also from others outside of our country, to avoid bias and blind patriotism.
To love our country rationally. We should criticize our government of inappropriate policies, society's unfairness. Focus on current events. Concern those intellectuals who always criticize this country and lawyers who struggle for justice of our society. It is them that really make our country better.
To love our country rationally. More importantly, use our own mind, common sense and don't lose our humanity.