Friday, 12 October 2012

Citizenship - Define Yourself

A sense of Citizenship is definitely making a comeback.  Twice in the last week its been the subject of enthusiastic debate about what actually constitutes being a good citizen.  

American political activist Ralph Nader asked the audience attending one of his seminars to state what role they felt defined them.  Variously they said they were Fathers, Mothers, Sons, Daughters, Engineers, Musicians, Specialists and so on.  Only a couple put down that they were 'Citizens.'  
One hundred and fifty years ago it was a matter of pride to call oneself first and foremost 'a good citizen.'  That description would lead the tributes in funeral eulogies as the Victorians and Methodists pursued good works along with their work ethic.
How do you define yourself?  What bit of your life would qualify you as a good citizen?  Recycling? Helping old ladies cross the road?  Picking up litter?  Using your vote? 
Nader's famous quote is "There can be no daily democracy without daily citizenship."

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