UNDERSTANDING PATRIOTISM

Patriostism has been regarded by many wise men as the highest of all the virtues. It is taken for granted by the undergraduate that Harvard is the supreme university in the country, and perhaps, if his maternal love goes so far, the first in the world. All men go to the football games and cheer that team which they have come to feel represents in some measure the spirit of the University. In the winning touchdown they are apt to believe they see the reason why Harvard is supreme.

Blind patriotism is as great a factor as any in the present devastation of Europe. Nations unreasoningly believe that right and the God of right war together with them, but somewhere there must be a limit to the desirability of unreasoning loyalty.

How many men in the University really know their own justification for being here? They are full to the heart with the belief that Harvard is supreme; they cultivate a cheap loyalty in cheering her on to victory in athletic contests. Yet, if they were asked by a disinterested person why they came here rather than to Colby, or Dartmouth, or New Hampshire State, they would not know. A man, or a boy or twenty cannot answer that mother liked the Crimson color, or father thought it was near home, or sister Susle wanted to see all the big games. Nevertheless, how many times does the presence of a man here hinge on reasons not one whit more sound.

There are many men who have come from the South and West, and they know why they came. Harvard does not represent to them the easiest course. They have conquered many obstacles because they believed with all their hearts that at Harvard they could obtain at any other college. They are the true, loyal sons of Harvard, who often make in later life her most illustrious advocates.

Learn the traditions of the College, be aware of her potentialities, do not forget her past. Be loyal, but in your loyalty let there be reason to justify it. From such intelligent loyalty will come the future power to keep Harvard high in the admiration of men who have had no connection with the College.