Why Do We Need Our Country?Translated by Peggy, edited by Chen-t'ang, written by Cheng Lap
There is something we always cherish. Unfortunately, we cannot protect them alone. Yet, we want to protect them as best as we can. That is the reason we need our own country. If the country cannot protect what you value, that is not your country.
There is something one always value. They can be our life, our family, our home, our property, our privacy, our freedom of action and speech, our interest in land and our language, our culture, our religion, as well as our collective memory and our lifestyle.
We always want to live in a stable environment. We want to speak in our own mother tongue. We also want our friends and relatives speaking in mother language. We want our life are adequately protected. We can live in a safe and comfortable home. We can eat what we like to eat. We can earn a living and enjoy leisure. We want our belief and religion are respected and passed on.
We want to preserve the films, the books, the places and shops that we encountered at our young age. And we hope they are still there when we are old. We want to provide support for our elderly. Although our memories are fading, we still hope they can become legacies. Although life is short, we still hope all the good memories can last much longer than our life. They can last forever. They can tell the times we live and the culture we share. And they will not be all gone and forgotten.
From wealth to feeling, emotion and memory, these build our “own self”. They are integral to our life. If they are lost, we will be really upset. That is why we do not want to lose them because they are so important to us.
If we are alone, we are weak. We do not have enough power to protect things we value. Our life will be endangered by violence. Our property will be usurped. Our freedom will be lost under fear and threat. Our native tongue will be losing slowly if we lose control of education and media.
These are the things we want to protect. Unfortunately, we cannot protect them alone. Yet, we want to protect them as best as we can. That is the reason we need our own country.
“Our country” is the institution that is established to protect these things we value. Law exists to protect our life and property. Education passes on our mother language and custom to the next generation. Constitution protects our freedom and rights. Country gathers the power little by little from every one of us. It can be in term of tax or duty. In return, the country protects things we cherish, and enable our lifestyle to continue, develop and last forever.
You may think that “your nationality reflects your country”. But that is just wrong. If the country does not protect things you cherish, it is not your country. You are just ruled by a country that you don’t belong to and you are only subject to its authority.
Another country might have very good governance, but after all it is not your country. You may emigrate to a developed Western country. However, if your mother tongue is not the official language there, it is hard to ask them to protect and promote your mother tongue.
If there is a country that despises your mother tongue, and it even deprives you of your property, threatens your life, destroys your family, eliminates your culture and belief, smears your collective memory, makes you feel unsafe and deprives you of the freedom, that country is not your country even you hold the citizenship of that country by birth. Unfortunately, you are just a slave without dignity. You are like consumable resources that can be sacrificed anytime.
You are weak and you need to be protected. That is the reason you need your own country. If you do not have your country, you have no dignity. The things you value will not be protected. Even you are obedient, you are doomed to have miserable life and live sadly at old age.
You need a country. Country exists because it is responsible to you.