We explain what a citizen is, how they can intervene to improve their community and what their general characteristics are.
What is a good citizen?
A citizen is any active member of a State , who is part of a society and has rights and obligations. This term is usually used to refer to someone who was born or lives a certain time ago in a territory.
An individual is considered to be a good citizen when he or she works to realize the goals of the group for peace and social harmony. It is the one who gets involved with the community in the social, economic or political sphere, fulfills its obligations, assumes responsibilities and respects the rights of others.
The word “citizen” comes from the term “city”, to which is added the suffix -ano, which means belonging. This concept arose in ancient Greece (although it did not include all the inhabitants, but rather the men born in the polis) and mutated according to the different societies and historical periods.
During the French Revolution (1789) the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was drafted, which established a notion more closely related to the current concept of citizenship, although it still deprived some sectors of basic rights (such as women, who were that they were not given the right to vote until the 20th century ).
Characteristics of a good citizen
Some of the main characteristics of a good citizen are:
- Build an identity . Citizenship is built in a specific place and society. Therefore, to be a good citizen it is necessary to know the history of that place. Knowing the geographical situation, the cultural and natural riches of the place, its strengths and weaknesses helps to form the citizen's identity.
- It is reported . A good citizen must be informed about current events in their community, both politically and economically, socially and culturally, in order to be able to act and make decisions based on data.
- Has critical thinking . A good citizen is informed and then analyzes that information, demanding evidence and arguments. Formulate your own opinions and make decisions thinking not only of personal benefit but also of the community.
- Participate . Critically analyzed information allows the individual to act on that knowledge. Participation can take many forms, from sharing information to becoming involved in community decisions. In each place there are different ways to participate, both in government agencies and in smaller and private areas such as schools, companies , organizations , among others.
- Work for the public good . Ethics allows identifying the values recognized by the community that contribute to the common good. The law is the official tool that each community has to define what is against its values. Therefore, a good citizen sticks to the law .
- Respect diversity . A good citizen respects the various beliefs and religions, sexual orientations, political ideologies and customs that exist in society. In addition, the interaction with people who have different opinions and points of view enriches the vision of the citizen and strengthens his critical attitude.
- Respect human rights . A good citizen respects and watches over the freedoms , faculties and claims that correspond to all human beings, regardless of their age, sex, religion or any other characteristic or situation.
- Respect the environment . A good citizen cares for the environment in which they live and can be part of specific organizations for the defense of the environment and animal rights . You can also carry out daily actions, such as waste treatment or saving water and energy, which contribute to maintaining a clean and balanced ecosystem . A good citizen not only does these things himself, but also encourages them in his community.
- Reject violence . Citizenship stands on a context of legality, so all the actions of a good citizen are carried out peacefully. Good citizens find a way to participate in the community and demand the necessary changes from government agencies without using violence. In addition, a good citizen rejects the violence exercised by others, by denouncing the cases of which he is a witness.
- Cooperate . A good citizen works in a cooperative context with his fellow citizens and is not limited to simple individual actions. Cooperation with other citizens makes it possible to achieve significant changes for the entire community.
How to be a good citizen?
Some ways to contribute to the development of a harmonious society are:
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- Comply with regulations or laws.
- Take care of space and public goods.
- Do not pollute the environment.
- Respect the traffic rules.
- Set an example for other citizens.
- Respect others and be kind.
- Respect the goods and properties of others.
- Avoid violence.
- Generate work .
- Collaborate with the campaigns or needs of the rest of the neighbors.
- Respect the opinions and points of view of others.
- Participate in assemblies or neighborhood meetings.
- Pay taxes and obligations.
- Respect social norms and behaviors.
- Cooperate in the pursuit of common goals.
- Promote trade and local activities.
- Donate blood.
- Respect national symbols and those of other nations.
- Vote responsibly in elections.
- Save energy , water and other natural resources.
- Promote social inclusion.
- Recycle waste.
- Do not vandalize public space.
- Learn about community issues.
- Be responsible with the commitments assumed.
- Do not discriminate against others.
- Act with justice .
- Put skills or talents at the service of the community.
- Act honestly.
- Express your own opinions and ideas .