A patriot is a verb and not a noun because one must actively seek to protect or further the interests of his/her country. If there is no active involvement, the person is not a patriot, but a citizen. The act of protecting or furthering the good of the country must be done for the love of the country and not simply a means to an end.
An example is a person joining the military to protect his/her country is a patriot. A person joining the military to benefit from the college tuition benefits is simply a citizen.
The scope of patriotism may be small or large. Giving your life for your country is big act of patriotism. The simple act of picking up trash in your neighborhood is a small act of patriotism for it leads to a better society and hence, country. If this same vision was share by 10,000 people throughout the country, a simple act of patriotism would make a large impact.
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