Being a Responsible Citizen
Everyone has a duty to be a responsible citizen. But unfortunately, not everyone takes this responsibility seriously. There are plenty of people the world over who do not know what being a responsible citizen means and these are the people who destroy our communities. For being a responsible citizen results in a happy and harmonious community – if everyone else does the same.
Being a responsible citizen covers many areas – some of them legal obligations, some social and some moral. So of course, because not all of them are legal obligations, being a responsible citizen is not as easy as staying within the law. In fact, to be a truly responsible citizen, we sometimes must go out of our way to do things which help our society – give a little of our time and effort for the greater good.
Legal ObligationsNo one can be a responsible citizen without staying within the law. It is as simple as that. Criminals, by their very nature, are not behaving as responsible citizens. Laws exist to protect citizens, the communities they live in and their property. So to be a responsible citizen, we must respect these laws and abide by them. Harming others or others’ property does not equate to being a good citizen.
Social ObligationsSocial obligations really form the bulk of being a responsible citizen and what this means. To be a responsible citizen, we should help our communities and those who live in them. So, being a responsible citizen can encompass things such as volunteering.
Volunteering, the third sector, is worth billions to our economy and even more to those who are helped by volunteering. But in the interests of being a responsible citizen, this could include smaller things too. So, volunteering for the Samaritans is a noble job to do and one which is certainly needed. But the elderly lady who lives alone may need someone to do her shopping and this demonstrates responsible citizenship just as much as volunteering in an organisation.
Other social obligations of being a good citizen can include things such as helping local businesses. This may means buying the meat for Sunday dinner from a local butcher rather than a supermarket, or using a small local bookstore rather than the internet. Being a responsible citizen also means being involved in our communities. This may be demonstrated by being on the school parent teacher association or the village hall committee. It may be as simple as attending events organised by these people.
Moral ObligationsMoral obligations of being a responsible citizen are harder to pin down because different people have different moral codes. But one place we can all start is in helping the environment.
The environmental problems society is facing are of our own making and we all have a moral obligation to do what we can to change this. So by living as environmentally friendly life as possible, we can help fulfil our moral obligations of being a responsible citizen. Taking recyclables to be recycled and using a compost bin are two easy ways and there are many more.
And they can be linked in with other obligations. For example, if you have a compose bin but no plants to use the compost on, you could give it to people who have plants but live alone, making them less likely to generate a huge amount of compost themselves.
Being a responsible citizen should not be a hard thing but it should be something which occasionally requires a little extra effort. This is because being a responsible citizen is, at its core, about being a less selfish person, and putting the needs of society before your own needs. It does not means you have to sacrifice all your free time to volunteer or help others, but it does means taking a little time to think about the impact of your actions on others.