I'm going to attempt to do something that I hope is not taken the wrong way. But with the question of patriotism bouncing around the conversation of our current event, it's hard for me to not try and express it. This is an attempt to explain the function and place of patriotism for the rest of us -- that is, those of us for whom it's not an automatic given. It's not a criticism, a rebuke, or even denial. Just a description and a hope to convey how people like me have come to grapple with the idea since we were little kids.
My early childhood was marked by trips abroad: Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Canada, London and more. My dad worked for an airline and so we were a band of jet-setting travelers. Early on, I understood that the world was big, varied and unpredictable. I knew that much more extended beyond the playground.