What does it mean to be a good citizen?


Quick Answer

A good citizen is a person who obeys the laws of his country, contributes to society and participates in public affairs with wisdom. Good citizenship is closely tied to the concept of civic duty, the idea that citizens have responsibilities they must fulfill with regard to their country.

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Full Answer

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services explains that good citizens feel a strong commitment to their country. They show appreciation for their civil rights by utilizing their freedom to become successful. They are industrious, responsible and avoid becoming a burden on society. However, education is extremely important for good citizens because it allows them to make correct decisions and avoid being fooled by power-hungry demagogues.

The USCIS states that good citizens honor and protect the Constitution. When those citizens perceive something wrong in their communities, especially government abuses, they act swiftly to bring the public's attention to the matter and remedy it. Good citizens participate in the political process. The purpose of democracy is for the people to govern themselves. When citizens do not engage in politics, they undermine the system. Voting, then, is not only a civil right but a civil obligation. Other important civil obligations include paying taxes, serving jury duty when called upon, respecting the law and being willing to defend the country if the need should arise.

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