, Research Paper
ICE-Social Science Community
Tuesday September 26,2000
revised 2nd draft
How to be a Good Citizen
Every citizen in our society has the right to freedom and to be happy. In order to preserve that right to be happy, you must be a virtuous citizen and fulfill and promote civic rights.
Here are three tips to follow on being a good citizen. First it is essential to obey all the laws of the land. Secondly you should not let your rights interfere or trample the rights of others, and lastly, you should be very community minded in spirit. “We hold that law and order can be restored without turning this country of the free into a Police State.” (Etzioni, 1993) First for law and order to be restored in our country it takes all of its citizen’s obeying the laws. Those rights don’t just merely require us to follow the rules, but to teach everyone especially our children what those laws are. In today’s society it seems as if people have forgotten what laws are let alone obey them. It is said that 60% of people obey the laws most of the time. (Williams, 2000) With that kind of percentage we as a society have a lot of work to do to make good citizens. We have thousands of laws on the books and new ones being written everyday, but without enforcement from the court system, overcrowding of our jails and not enough reinforcement from parents to children it will never be solved. Unless we as citizens take control of the situation, when our children are grown they will be afraid to go outside of their homes
Secondly just because we are born in this country with inalienable rights doesn’t mean that we can trample someone else’s rights. Some follow the basic principle “that each of us has the obligation not to aggress against anyone else- for any reason, personal, social, or political, however worthy.” Discussion List (online) Available: http://www.l4l.org/ (2000,sept16). These rights that we as citizens all enjoy should give credence to the saying in the Bible “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” (Bible, Matthew 7:12)
Lastly, as a good citizen we ought to have good community service or spirit. What is community spirit? Is it getting involved in the political arena? Which doesn’t mean necessarily running for office but taking advantage of our right to vote. Today we as a society have about half of the registered voters that actually go to the polls and vote. That’s not good community spirit. Secondly, are we helping by policing our own communities, no, only one in four neighborhoods has a neighborhood watch program. What do we not care what happens in our neighborhoods anymore? Good citizens should just be involved in anything that is going to have a positive outcome for his or her community.
In conclusion to enjoy freedom and be happy as a citizen, we must all obey laws, enjoy our God given rights without infringing on the rights of others, and commit ourselves to our communities. Citizenship starts at home with each individual creating his or her own identity and by starting with children at a young age you are teaching them right from wrong. Therefore “parents have a moral responsibility to the community to invest themselves in the proper upbringing of their children, and communities— to enable parents to so dedicate themselves.” (Etzioni,1993). By following the rules of society, not trampling the rights of others and giving back to our communities, we can evolve into a society of good and productive citizens.
Etzioni, Amitai (1993) Spirit of Community
Mercury Reader, 2000 p101.
Williams, Bob 2000
Discussion List (online) Available: http:// www.L4L.org/ (2000, Sept. 16)
Bible (Matthew 7:12)