This month we’re going to be talking about good citizenship. Good citizenship refers to when someone is a good citizen, meaning that you are a good person in your own country. It’s good to be a good citizen as you’re making your society better and your environment better to live in! But what does it mean to be a good citizen?
Being a good citizen is refined in so many different ways around the world. For example, Teddy Roosevelt said that a good citizen is someone who is “…willing to pull his own weight; that he shall not be a mere passenger but shall do his share in the work…”, meaning that good citizens should do their bit to make America a better place. We can take our good citizenship ideas from the Constitution—truth, justice, equality and a respect for life—but the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service also explains that good citizens feel a strong commitment to their country. Other countries define good citizenship as being kind, respectful and tolerant towards others—we have very multicultural societies, so this is essential.
However, we’re going to focus on what is means to be a good citizen in school, not just in society. Being a good citizen outside of school means being honest, responsible, and respectful, and it’s good to fall back on these if you do not know what to do in a situation. These rules can be applied in school too! Equally, these school rules can be applied in day to day life:
Be respectful of others and their property. You should always try to respect others as you’ve never been in their shoes—you don’t know what their life is like. You should never criticise others for something that they cannot change or something that doesn’t affect your life, like someone’s skin colour. Their property is equally as important, as again you don’t know what that particular object means to that person! When you want to borrow something, ask for their permission, and never damage what isn’t yours.
Be respectful of school property. This follows the same sort of ideas as other people’s property, but the main idea is that you don’t know how expensive that piece of equipment or building is. If you’d like your school to continue looking nice, or you want to keep using the fun stuff, then be respectful of school property!
Follow school rules. More often than not, these rules are put in place to protect you and to make sure that you’re getting the best education you can possibly get. By following these rules, you make your and your teacher’s lives a little easier!
Another thing you can do is give back to the community. It’s really helpful to society to help those around you, and it makes those that you’re helping lives a little better. It also makes you feel good! What’s not to like? You can volunteer, do a beach/park clean up, participate, or create your own charity event or even a small thing like recycling your plastic. For example, me and my friends are taking part in the Maldon Mud Race in order to raise money for Meningitis Research! Nothing is ever too small to make a difference.
Lastly, be honest and kind! Let’s make everyone’s days a little better!
So, now that we know what good citizenship is, try doing one good thing today—whether that be giving back to the community by doing a random act of kindness, being kind to the people around you, or by respecting things that you don’t necessarily understand. I hope you have a good month, and Happy Halloween!