I have had this article in mind for a number of months now, but have been hesitant to write it, as it is somewhat of a delicate subject. I feel that those of you who have yet to become expats will have a hard time understanding the feelings of somebody (like me!) who has lived abroad for a long time now. I will try to approach this as delicately as I can, and I ask for your understanding. Let’s not fight when it comes to the comments, if we differ in opinion, let’s talk it over and see if we can reach a feeling of mutual understanding, OK?
My topic today is summed up in the title of this article. Where do your loyalties lie? Let’s say it like this… hypothetically, of course…
If some kind of disagreement erupted between the Philippines and the United States tomorrow, where would your loyalties lie? Let’s say that somehow the two countries were to be at war against each other, what would you do?
That’s a tough situation. Let me start out by saying a couple of things:
- I don’t believe that such a thing would happen within my lifetime, but anything is possible.
- I understand that all of my readers are not from the United States, but I am, and the biggest percentage of my readers are, so for the sake of this discussion, just substitute your country where I said “United States.”
I am proud to be an American. I love the United States of America. There are things I disagree with in the USA sometimes (as I am sure we all do), but that does not lessen my degree of love for the Country that I originated from.
I am also proud to be living in the Philippines. I have even considered, and am still considering, obtaining Philippine Citizenship. I love the Philippines. I have been here for a decade now, and have no thought of ever leaving the country. I love the people of the Philippines. There are some parts of the country that I disagree with, some parts of the Culture that I have a problem with, some things that annoy me about the Philippines without a doubt. However, this does not lessen my love of the Philippines.
So, if there were some kind of major disagreement between my country of citizenship, and my adopted country, where would I stand? It is a very difficult thing for me to even consider. I have deep conflicts when I think about this. I am not even sure that I can give an answer to my own question, to be perfectly honest.
I suppose that it would be deeply important to know first the reason for the conflict, or what it was all about. My first inclination would be to carefully consider the situation, and decide in my mind who I thought was right, given the question at hand. I would probably side with whichever country I felt was being more honest and forthright in the dispute. My first inclination would not be to automatically support the USA. Ten years ago, or more, when I lived in the States, my first inclination would be that the USA was right, regardless of the dispute. However, having been away from the US for a decade, I no longer feel that way. I am not anti-American at all, but I think I am more objective and would want to examine the situation before deciding. Nothing would be “automatic” at all anymore.
My other question was what if there was a war between the two countries? This is extremely unlikely, but, what if? Well, again, it would depend on the reason, the cause, I suppose. My reaction, though, would not be to just leave immediately and return to the USA. There would be a lot of considerations:
- What caused the conflict?
- If there are Americans staying here, how are they being treated?
- Does it look like this is something that will be resolved quickly, or drawn out?
Plenty to consider. Like I have said several times, it is doubtful that any of this would even come to pass.
What about you, what would you do? Where do your loyalties lie?