The Importance of Teaching Good Citizenship

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The Importance of Teaching Good Citizenship

No one in this world lives in a vacuum. While everyone has a family and important relationships, they still have to know how to function as part of multiple communities. As part of a larger community, everyone is expected to contribute and act is an acceptable fashion. How does someone become a good citizen?

Citizenship Definition

Before anyone can strive towards becoming a good citizen, they need to have a clear understanding of what exactly citizenship means.

According to the Free Dictionary, citizenship is defined as follows:

"1. the state of being vested with the rights and duties of a citizen.

2. the character of an individual viewed as a member of society"

Along with the expectation one will be a citizen within any given community, there is also a universal expectation that a members of the community will strive to become good citizens. Communities only succeed when a large majority of its members act as good citizens.

It Starts With Education

In most countries where education plays a key role in shaping the minds of young people, there's an expectation that children will be taught about society. They will be taught how a society functions and how individuals are expected to behave as part of the society. They will also be taught about the roles of the individual and government.

It's worth noting that at home, parents focus more on teaching their children to be a functioning part of the family. They often leave to it the school systems to address citizenship in larger communities such as school, work, the local community, the country and the world. The schools do this in the same way they are charged with teaching kids about things like service gap year programs after high school. But why is this important?

The Importance of Teaching Good Citizenship

Every community needs structure. Without structure, nothing gets done and society crumbles. People, and children specifically, need to have some sense of loyalty to the communities in which they live. They must participate at some level in order to help support the structure.

When governments need to be formed, it's a sense of citizenship that drives people to get involved. At the highest levels, that involvement actually allows the individual to shape the community itself. They shape the infrastructure and set the standards (laws) under which the community will operate.

It's that same sense of citizenship that drives people to patriotism. Without patriotism and the willingness of people to make huge sacrifices, nations would not have militarizes or police forces to protect other citizens from invasion or crime.

Without citizenship, there would be no formal religions. No matter what religion someone subscribes to, it's important for citizens to support religions, especially those that perform charitable acts and provide places for people to gather and shares their hopes, dreams and beliefs.

It's also citizenship that drives people to create activities that bring people together. If there's a local sports team, good citizens will show up to support said teams. The same goes for any attempts to bring culture into a community. The reference to culture applies to things like museums, theaters, concerts, movies and music.

What People Get in Return for Citizenship

By choosing to belong to a community, people get the rights bestowed upon the people in that community. They get the protection from crime and the right to vote for the people who will represent them in government. They also get the right to share in all the wonderful amenities other citizens put forth for the benefit of their neighbors.

Ultimately, the importance of teaching about citizenship is directly tied to the survival of the world or any given nation, state, city or neighborhood. Any societal group needs a constant flow of new citizens to help it survive and grow. Teaching people the importance of being good citizens is the only way that's going to happen. The really cool thing is everyone gets to be a citizen of as many groups as they want.