Imperfect Patriots

Perhaps the most loyal thing a patriot can do for his or her country is to point out its flaws.

Even before this country’s Independence Day, people were at work to form a union that was imperfect at its start and remains so today. Some of its many flaws have been corrected, even as new flaws have been revealed.

We have imperfect patriots to thank for forming this nation and for helping this nation improve itself. Flawed people of conscience and courage have helped a young nation see itself as it was and also as it could become.

Some patriots have been famous, a few infamous, but most unrecorded in any historical account as they lived and labored in ways that improved their local community and, unknowingly, contributed to change they might not have imagined possible, improving everything from race relations to recycling to renewable energy.

This nation’s patriots are not merely those who lived at the birth of this nation. Every generation has had patriots who have been as important for nation-building as those in the 1700s. Patriots are found in and out of government. In homes and places of worship. They are found in the for-profit business world and in nonprofit organizations.

When, out of sincere loyalty, a person brings constructive criticism to a cause, that person helps to build and better the enterprise. It is as true of this imperfect organization as it is of our nation.

Posted in: Perspective


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About the Author

Jack Roberts

Jack Roberts has been at the helm of the MHSAA as its Executive Director since 1986, implementing programs and overseeing tournament administration and regulations for the Association which boasts 1,500 member schools, 10,000 registered officials and 13,000 head coaches.

During the last 45 years, Roberts has spoken to educator and athletic groups, business leaders and civic groups in almost every state and five Canadian provinces. He is one of the nation's most articulate advocates for educational athletics.

Roberts has served on the board of directors of the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO), is in his second term on the board of the National Federation of State High School Associations, and is the first chairman of the NFHS Network board of directors. He has been board president for the Refugee Development Center for nine years, and is a past-chair of the board of directors of the Michigan Society of Association Executives. He is chair of the board of trustees for the Capital Region Community Foundation for 2018.

He is a 1970 graduate of Dartmouth College, where he played defensive safety for the Ivy League's winningest football team during that span, and he sang in Dartmouth's close harmony vocal group.

His wife, Peggy, has retired from a 30-year career in social services, and is serving as president of the board of the Fenner Nature Conservancy in Lansing.