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Happy 4th of July, and what does it take to be a good citizen?

sywwac Jul 03, 2016

Have you ever wondered how the quality, values, and virtues of a citizen directly relate to their government? I always think about these questions around the fourth of July because it's a chance to reflect on why I love my country, and it reminds me of family gatherings growing up.

I remember humid days in the midwest. The smell of spent bottle rockets and other fireworks; my dad and uncle each year play the hazardous game of 'drink a lot of beer' and 'blow stuff up.' Luckily no accidents ever happened. 

And of course, basic fourth of July foods of hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad, and all that. I remember playing basketball with my cousins and uncle in my uncle's driveway. 

But what I remember the most is the fourth of July was all about celebrating together. It's all about saying 'hi' to strangers and feeling a shared sense of connectedness and history. It's a day of remembrance and a day of shared civic pride, and I remember the adults talking about politics and whatever news of the day.

On this day that celebrates the US, I wondered, "what does it take to be a good citizen?"

The five points I came up with are as follows:

  1. Serve something other than yourself
  2. Find commonality 
  3. Educate yourself, and be as informed as you can, and don't fall into media bias
  4. Improve yourself
  5. Don't buy into fear

So what are your five ideas that make a good citizen?

Outside of these ideas, I felt a few beliefs also have about being a great citizen.

  • Give your fellow citizens the benefit of the doubt. 
  • Don't think everyone has to agree with you, or you have to agree with everyone. 
  • With citizenship comes great responsibility. 
  • Remember that we're all in this together and act accordingly. 

We're all Americans, we're all citizens of this world, we're all Brits, Canadians, Mexicans, or whatever country you're from, we're all in our countries in it together, and globally we're in it together, because we never do anything alone. You don't do business alone; you don't do school alone; you don't grow up alone most of the time.

If you liked this video, please post below your five ideas for a model citizen because I'm super curious. I think it'll be awesome to see all of your perspectives on what that is, and I want to honor that. 

Also, if you like this video, share it. Like I said earlier, this video series will be about courage for July. Our next video, or my next video, will be about expressing yourself because it takes a lot of courage to say, 'Hey, I believe in this,' and shout it out to the world.

Next week we'll talk about expressing ourselves more. I hope you like it. I'd love to hear your five things, and I'll see you guys next week.


Check out the Youtube video, here:


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