A man of peace. A man of love. No wonder he is a hero, an undying name in history. A cool guy. That is what Jose Rizal is, the epitome of exemplary patriotism.
A patriot whose life was one that was short lived, but lived very meaningfully. Patriotism can simply be defined as love of country. The question is this- How should one show his love for his country? Are there standards ways on how to love your country? Are there best ways to express how much your country means to you? Does one really have to become a national hero to become a real patriot?
Certainly, he was not chosen as the national hero for little reasons. Known as a renaissance man, Jose Rizal is a patriot who caused a new turn for real freedom for his country, for his countrymen. Though he was not a warrior who killed the enemies through guns, the bravery of Rizal to protect his country from opportunistic conquerors is undeniable. And that exactly is patriotism. It does not have to be military. Seas of blood do not have to be shed all the time for the sake of patriotism. Throughout history, several heroes have proved that gunless patriotism works.
What this indicates is that the means of showing patriotism is not the main issue. What really matters is the end of the means. Did the patriotic deed reach its goal? So, when it comes to patriotic means especially in the modern times, it will be great to show how much you love your country without having to declare war against other countries. The best way to do this is through literature. It does not have to use propaganda pens. Why not declare your love for your country through literature and arts just as how you would to your sweetheart?
It might sound contradictory as Rizal himself used his pen to fight against the Spaniards. But then again, he did that because it was necessary then. On top of all this, when Jose Rizal did all these sacrifices and martyrdom for his country, he was a youngster. Even as a teenager, he already showed how much he loves the Philippines by writing. Nowadays, as the country is enjoying sufficient democracy, there is no reason to write to fight against any other country. Why not celebrate the freedom of the Philippines with joy through an artistic way? Like Rizal, the youngsters are the best persons to use literature patriotically.