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Being a Responsible Citizen

By: Joanne Walker BA (hons) - Updated: 27 Mar 2020 | comments*Discuss
Being Responsible Citizen Good Others

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 Obligations

No 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 Obligations

Social 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 Obligations

Moral 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.

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you should adress the goverment departments and agencies they will manipulate situations , for thier benefit and outcome , and divert away from thier moral and civil and citizens of obligations as written in british law. mis information, dis information., and the lack of human respect towards people , the blatant profiling in order to creat ill will and hate , they can get away because they are governments
non - 21-Jan-18 @ 7:59 PM
I love this topic. This is what I have been preaching as an NGO. And the act of being responsible is transferable. Children watch adults in this regard to know and do. That's the major problem confronting developing countries. Let us not give up in being responsible always.
Tunji Rhema - 28-Nov-17 @ 4:07 PM
But is it possible to follow all these things in today's world!?
stark - 19-Feb-16 @ 5:08 PM
chloeeesims is right. anyway,the presentation earned me an award. kudos to the writer
praiseliin - 3-Nov-15 @ 3:08 PM
This presentation is a nice one, it tackles the issue which is affection a lot of nations today, and because of having irresponsible citizen many developing countries have found it difficult a develop. Talk about diseases such as cholera, and other diarrhea disease, mostly it is because of not being responsible as citizens.
ellyman - 3-Feb-15 @ 7:48 AM
This is an amazing representation of what the community is supposed to be. I admire the fact that it is stated how people should act. Just imagine the world with people being just as responsible. Maybe we wouldn't even have global warming today.
Frolie - 25-Feb-14 @ 2:37 AM
Teens can be responsible citizens. Yes, they’re still earning and they’ll make mistakes, but with school classes on citizenship and the example of parents and grandparents they can be even better citizens than the generation that’s gone before. This means that parents have the moral duty of citizenship to pass it on properly to their kids!
Dan - 5-Oct-12 @ 2:05 PM
I think the ideas are very good, but I do believe that the responsibilities of citizenship should be taught in schools, so children take them as understood from a very young age. There's also one you didn't mention, and that's voting. That's a huge part of being a member of society and exercising your voice, both in local and general elections. Sadly, it's something too few people, even responsible citizens in other areas of life, do.
James - 25-Jun-12 @ 10:55 AM
i believe this representation of being a responsible citizen is misleading. the picture attached to this article shows a woman in her 70-80's being shown as a responible citizen. this gives the readers the impression that all responsible citizens are of the older generation. teenagers do alot of citizen work but are not seeming to get the same attention as the older generation. teenagers are considered as 'yobs' and 'rioters' and this may be true for 5% of teenagers but the other 95% are responsible citizens.
chloeeesims - 16-Mar-12 @ 3:00 PM
This is a brilliant presentation on responsible citizenship.
lucia - 20-Sep-11 @ 9:54 AM
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