Yuan T. Lee, the Taiwanese chemist, and a Nobel Prize Holder, knew it when he said –
“We need to become good citizens in the Global village, instead of competing. What are we competing for – To drive more cars, eat more steaks? That will destroy the World.”
A good citizen is believably a boon; an approbation to society. To perceive that the sphere of supreme civil power has certain responsibilities towards us is to realize we too have the same towards the State. Thus we must be aware of both our privileges and duties. There are the established conventional duties that a citizen must follow, however to abide by those, one has to consider their duties more than what the term has to offer: a reflection of one’s morality.
Way back in history, when society meant only a dozen or two of people in a finite square feet land, “The Law” might have been undemanding in its approach. If a member of the community got caught playing with the law, he might have just been ostracized from the society. But today, in a global community, people are still looked upon for the probable occurrence to comply with the law because that’s what’s needed for the society to carry on. And needless to say that a society would turn haywires if everybody was to do according to their wishes.
The examples could be relatively lesser in stature though. Like what makes traffic law an important one? Just because its implementation compels a follow up? No, because it architects the presumed behavior of drivers in absence of which travel is like nomadic marathon.
The idea of tax is indispensable because it pays for things that most individuals could not possibly haul for themselves, such as infrastructure projects, public security, general services, health services and much more. While it’s peremptory that the government sets tax slabs judiciously, it’s equally important that all citizens pay their due taxes intensively and punctually. Even Chanakya had said – “All experts shall fix revocation in such a way that neither the donor nor the receiver is harmed” in respect to his opinion on the governance – that the conferrer must be happy to give and the receiver should be able to meet his target.
All that a citizen has to do is have faith in their elected government and consider paying taxes as a form of serving the needs of all.
Persons who do not vote lose their voice in the government and also lose their stand in the selection of the type of governance one wants. We are inclined to the tendency of assuming that one vote doesn’t carry any value but unless and until voting does not take the shape of national attitude in us, joined by hundreds more, we are failing ourselves.
While many people have their own instrumentalism of what constructs a good citizen, there is little consensus to exactly what this would be. One cannot be forced to realize his/her responsibilities towards their country which is why the need for developing a feeling of ownership is highly essential. If being ethical, fighting injustice or expressing one’s voice is non-negotiable in respect to citizenship values, then the following adds on to its glories.
Respect for country
A country is not just the land where you were born – its potential is far stronger than just that. Living together in the same place over many years configures people in a habitual way. The weather, the way of talking, the soil and maybe some acquired traits – these things put forth a slight but very real influence over time. While most understanding of nationhood do comprise an aspect of shared heritage, as people that are associated to each other are disposed to share common origin of thinking, feeling, and responding to the world, yet it is very much beyond genetic explanations.
Without a prominent connection to roots it is quite rare for man to keep on going amidst conditions that require the full application of one’s ability and attention. The real understanding of roots happens when man gives himself the benefit to connect to those who prefaced in shaping his culture and thereby appreciates the same with the challenge of reformation. In other words it could be healthy to take pride in one’s cultural inheritance. That explains even if one’s love for their respective country is not on the higher scale, it is necessary to respect its existence and fight for its true worth.
The worldwide celebration of the International Day for tolerance was an annual observance declared by UNESCO in 1995 to procreate public awareness of the world’s diversity, reminding us of the beauty of our universe. If there had not been any diversity, the world would appear colourless, monotonous, unattractive for the best reasons, and void of constructive competition. Establishing tolerance and harmony amidst such diversity has become very crucial and important, and fostering reciprocal love and affection has become vital.
How about the willingness to accept or to tolerate, especially opinions or behavior you may not agree with, or to behave sensibly with those who are not like you? Does that not sound calm? Let’s say that to express one’s point of view in a decent and respectful way while taking care of the sentiments of others not only makes good citizen out of men but also good humane.
“Right is right even if one is doing it. Wrong is wrong even if hundreds are doing it.”
Having the courage to do the right thing even at the risk of inconvenience, ridicule, punishment, loss of security or social status, might seem very outright and challenging. But moral courage is that rise above apathy, and cynicism in our political systems, socioeconomic divisions, and cultural/religious differences which lets one overcome the fear of failure. History still celebrates icons of such ideal like Mother Teresa, Dr. Martin Luther King and Aung San Suu Kyi.
All these need one understanding though – We need to be good citizens of the World and not just our land. Because we need the World more than it needs us.