Experience shows that we find it difficult to separate ourselves from the nation that saw us born. This natural patriotism somehow prevents us from putting ourselves in the place of others, since we assume that our nation is the best. Of course, sometimes we are critical and even bitter towards this intangible entity, but we are always critical with the idea that it is better than what we see, and that it has known a golden age. The strength of a nation lies in the myths that created it. We believe in these myths all the more because we feel carried along by the current of history. Our existence is indeed part of the long life of the nation, which we secretly hope to put a stone in the building.
Man is a diurnal animal, yet it is at night that his imagination surpasses him. Dreams are at the origin of the founding myths. We believe these stories because in truth, it is much more the dream that conditions our actions than reality. The real is a prosaic interpretation of life while the dream is the poetry of life that expresses itself.
Nations dominate us, they dominate our imagination and impose on us a relationship with others that we have not chosen. Friendship and hostility are somehow insidiously ordered towards this or that national mimicking alliances and wars towards other nations on a macroscopic scale.
Can one live serenely as a man without having made the decision to divorce our nation? We must be faithful to it even though we have not chosen to unite with it. The nation provides us with a secure framework for the development of our individuality. However, this framework should not be conditioned by any return on investment. It is therefore no longer a love relationship but a transaction. In order to be true ambassadors of our nations, we should get rid of the invisible chains that we drag in our minds. We would have to be free and generous to all humanity, as if the effort made by this nation was emancipating, as a mother should be towards her children.
This natural impulse of love that we have for our nation should not be corrupted by the misadventures of politics. We are the children of humanity above all else, even though we have grown up in a culture and language. If our nation chooses to separate from another, such as a divorce between parents, as children of both groups (nation and humanity), we should not take part in hostility, on the contrary, we should draw closer to the children of that other nation. We have more to lose than to gain from keeping up wars, first of all, our humanity.
Sobriety should be what characterizes us when we see warlike speeches from our political leaders. Excess and aggressiveness are two traits that we can give in to if we allow ourselves to be fooled by patriotic leaders. That is why the love of one’s nation should not become passionate because one becomes manipulable and one can commit the worst injustices in its name. Finally, the love for one’s nation should be the same as the love one has for a friend. It is wise and measured. It is far more useful to use one’s passion for causes that emancipate us (such as skill development) rather than those that may relegate us to the status of pawn.