So, it looks as though we may have finally saved enough money to apply for Mr. Husband's US citizenship. It has caused me to reflect upon my own patriotism.
What is patriotism? The words love, loyalty, honor, respect, obligation, reverence all come to mind. Do I feel all of these for my country? Yes. Do I feel them for my government? Ummm....sometimes. How will I feel about my country once I've lived in Mexico for awhile? Good question, if I do say so myself.
I suppose that for the first few months or more it will only be natural for me to often compare the two countries. When I am frustrated with the way things are going I will most likely long for "The American Way" and will find myself placing the US on a pedestal in that moment.
I would like to note here that the word "American" takes on great meaning for me. I generally avoid using it because I have friends in Mexico who helped me to understand that the word should not necessarily be reserved for people living in the United States. I use it here, however, because most people are familiar with the expression "American Way" as something referring to nationals of the United States. I could go further and talk about how even the words "United States" are not exclusive to my country, but that's not the point of this post.
As I was saying, before interrupting myself....
After living in Mexico for awhile will I begin to feel allegiance to Mexico and lose my sense of allegiance to the United States? A better place to start for me is to ask if I feel allegiance to the United States right now. The answer is yes. I am extremely frustrated with the way our country has gone in the past 10 years or so, but all in all I love my country because of the ideals for which it stands. I get the feeling that my country has messed things up for itself, however. We'll see how things pan out.
But you know what? More than feeling a strong sense of patriotism, I feel a stronger sense of humanitarianism. That is, I identify more with the idea of being a citizen of the planet Earth than belonging to a specific country. I feel that the bottom line in my life is to show love, loyalty, honor, respect, obligation, and reverence to my fellow human beings. I am an idealist.
Coming back to a more practical or worldly standpoint, I must say that reading the endless expatriate blogs has shown me a huge variety of views on the subject of patriotism. It all comes down to why you left in the first place, what's kept you away, and how you reconcile your nationality with your day-to-day living. It's a highly personal thing, actually; a rather touchy subject.
Anyway, my husband will be pursuing his citizenship here so that we are less likely to have complications later, when we decide to travel to the US or if we decide to move back. We figure it would be easier than dealing with all of the rules that go along with being a resident alien.
Resident alien, illegal alien..... more phrases I take issue with......