Among all the New Year resolutions we make to start 2013 — quitting the smokes, losing weight, reducing credit card use and the like — we might consider resolving to become better citizens.
Some of that better citizen behavior takes familiar “V” forms: voting, volunteering and a voice in pubic matters, citizen watchdogs if you will.
But I got to thinking that the list must go beyond the obvious or at least the “Vs.”
Some of the things I found and offered by a variety of sources include:
- “Be honest, trustworthy, compassionate and a good neighbor.” (A classroom teacher’s lesson)
- “One important aspect for being a good citizen is to help people. When talking about the people that need our help, I am not only talking about the poor ones, but also the pregnant woman who cannot carry a heavy package or the old man that cannot cross the street. Remember that little actions make the difference. (From an advanced composition essay for a non-native American)
- “Our first duty then is to produce the kind of citizen capable of sustaining this nation’s great heritage.” (From “Rescue America: Our Best America Is Only One Generation Away”)
- “In addition to supporting government leaders and participating in civic affairs, loyalty also means that we try to make our country a better place.” (From the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints)
- “Your Encouragement Helps. Even if you’re just encouraging the little seven year old down the street to learn to ride a skateboard...it's still encouragement.” (From WikiHow to do anything.)
- “The next part of being a better citizen is being organized. Getting to your textbooks is important because you only have five minutes in-between classes. So as you see being organized is important part of being a good citizen.” (From a student named Austin in Mr. Westerberg’s class in the La Center School District in Washington state.)
- “I would merely like to add that a vital element of citizenship is being able to strike a balance between preserving realms of positive liberty and negative liberty.” (From a post to the eNotes website by a middle school history teacher)
I admit that I never connected keeping my high school locker organized with good citizenship. If I had, my locker would have looked quite different.
But it seems that steps to good citizenship come in all forms, and that makes resolving to become a better citizen quite easy.
And of course, “resolving” is the easy part.
If you can share some good citizenship tips, please do.
And maybe I can come back in a year and ask how we all did.
Meanwhile, along with the weight thing, an annual resolution for me, I resolve to try to become a better citizen.