What Does Good Citizenship Mean?


Quick Answer

Being a good citizen involves more than voting as a member of a state and nation. Good citizens care about their fellow citizens.

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Full Answer

Citizenship means being a member of a nation and state. Society functions because of its citizens. Members of a democracy, as is the United States, believe in society's pillars of the economy, law and politics. These societal pillars only function when all citizens play a part. It makes a society inclusive and not exclusive. Being a citizen in a democracy means elections are fair and that each vote counts. Before elections, politicians present their best viewpoints and engage with the electorate.

There are many characteristics of being a good citizen. Here are some of them.

Participate in the Process
If a society is going to run properly, its citizens must participate in it. One way one can participate in a democracy is by voting. Voting is determined by a preset schedule. Registering to vote and participating in the electoral process is one way to demonstrate good citizenship. In contrast, not voting and then complaining about elected officials is an indication of bad citizenship because it does not accomplish anything.

No one lives in a vacuum as a member of society. Members of a society must live with one another peacefully. When others see someone in the community is not thriving, they can show empathy towards this person. It's a mark of good citizenship to care for one another. It creates strong communities and fosters collaborative thinking. There are many organizations within a community that provide this care including churches and nonprofit organizations. However, each person can demonstrate good citizenship by helping a neighbor. One way to do this is by paying taxes when required. Taxes go back into the community and into the nation as a whole.

Be Responsible
Being a responsible citizen is being a good citizen. People living in a society need to be responsible for their welfare. When these members are parents, they're responsible for their children's welfare. This responsibility involves feeding, clothing and providing shelter for their children. It requires working and saving money for their future. Parents, in turn, teach their children responsibility by giving them chores. When parents care for their children and children complete their chores, they are contributing to the family unit and to the society as a whole.

Being knowledgeable means learning new things to not only help oneself but to help society as a whole. Everyone has special skills that can be enhanced by education. Finding one's talent and then using it for the greater good in society is a mark of good citizenship. Being knowledgeable about societal happenings and in one's community means that one can adequately make good decisions.

Respect the Rights of Fellow Citizens
Being a good citizen involves respecting one another. This goes along with caring for members of a community. In a society, many citizens will have different thoughts and points of view. Is it important to listen to each person and not try to impose one's beliefs on the other. Many conflicts arise when there is more talking than there is listening.

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