Understanding Government 101: The Meaning Of Being A Citizen
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Understanding Government 101: The Meaning Of Being A Citizen

Whether you realize it or not, you are a citizen, but are you a good one?

30
Understanding Government 101: The Meaning Of Being A Citizen
Emma Epperly

Cit - i - zen: a native or naturalized member of a state or nation who owes allegiance to its government and is entitled to its protection; an inhabitant of a city or town, especially one entitled to its privileges or franchises

We are all citizens. Whether you just joined a community or you have been there since the day you were born, we are all citizens of many things. We are citizens of the globe, our country, our city and for many of us our universities. Now in the definition above, there are a few things I would like to point out.

1. Owes Allegiance

This is not a question, you owe allegiance. Allegiance does not mean that you always agree with your government, whether state or national, and it definitely does not mean that you have to agree with its leaders. It does mean, however, that you must respect the law of the land and abide by its rules and regulations. I would also add that allegiance has a connotation of respect. While respect is not the same as allegiance, I think that it is a highly encouraged aspect of the word.

2. Entitled

By being a citizen, we are entitled to things like protection, privileges, and franchises. It is important to recognize this entitlement and to note that ALL citizens are entitled to these things.

So, now we have the basics of what a citizen is and who the term applies to, let's look at the best practices of being a citizen.

Being involved in your community is a huge part of being a citizen. There are millions of ways to do this. There are large scale charities that you can give to like the Red Cross and more local charities that you can give to that just reach your community. You can be involved in your local religious center of choice and encourage your community that way. Involvement can be mentorship of younger people in your community, choosing to shop local, or participating in local events. The idea is to not be isolated and to engage with those around you.

Participating in government is another MAJOR part of being a citizen. This can be as simple as voting or as big as holding public office. It is up to you on how involved you are but it is important to participate. Voting is not just confined to presidential elections, something we often forget. As a citizen, you should vote in your local elections frequently for things like mayor and city supervisor as well as for governor and your national representatives.

Civil discord is another part of being a citizen. This, again, can be done in a variety of ways, but if as a citizen you do not like something the government is doing you should stand up and say something. This can be as simple as signing a petition or as large as organizing a protest; either way, it is important to stand up for what you believe in. This should be done on both a local and global scale.

Now, here are a few misconceptions about being a citizen. A major one is that in order to make a difference in government you have to do it nationally. This is so wrong. Government occurs at many levels and you can make a difference at every level. The biggest issue facing citizens today is the lack of civic duty we feel. It is important to participate in government, to know who your representatives are, and to speak up for what you believe in both locally and nationally. We are all citizens and we all have a duty to participate in our community, in order to make our world and our lives better.

This is the first article in a series on government and our role in it as citizens, check back next week to see more.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Essential Items Men Can't Live Without

Here is everything that you need to know about the essential items men can't live without.

20563

Men get the stereotype of being simple when it comes to what they need in life.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

What Your Car's Color Says About Your Personality

Your color choice speaks volumes. It doesn't just emit an image for the car, it also says something about your style and personality! It's a form of self-expression. Are you confident? Are you sophisticated? Are you easy-going? Are you outgoing? Are you practical? As you're reviewing car sites for your next car purchase, what color will you opt for? Find out what certain color choices says about you!

156160

When it comes to car shopping you likely have certain preferences, including what color it should be. Your color choice speaks volumes. It doesn't just emit an image for the car, it also says something about your style and personality! It's a form of self-expression. Are you confident? Are you sophisticated? Are you easy-going? Are you outgoing? Are you practical? As you're reviewing car sites for your next car purchase, what color will you opt for? Find out what certain color choices says about you!

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

30 Songs On My Back-To-School Playlist For Walks To And From Class

Headed back to in-person classes means you need a pretty banging playlist to power you through those walks to class.

123079
Photo by Zen Chung on Pexels

I don't know about you, but I start each day off with a one-mile walk to class. I have to have good tunes flowing through my ears during those 20 minutes, not to mention the walks between classes and the walks home. So, here is my 30 song playlist to get me through this almost unfamiliar concept we call walking to class.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Be Kind to Yourself: 8 Mental Health Tips to Try

One way you can improve your quality of life is to take care of your mental health. As a result, you'll feel less depressed and be able to enjoy spending time with friends and family more often. These mental health tips might be just what you need to forget about your problems.

69081

One way you can improve your quality of life is to take care of your mental health. As a result, you'll feel less depressed and be able to enjoy spending time with friends and family more often. These mental health tips might be just what you need to forget about your problems.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Should You Own An SUV If You Live In A Snowy state?

There are many reasons to own an SUV. If you live in a cold state or a rural area, you will see that owning an SUV is very important.

56201

The gas and oil prices are too high to run in a smaller vehicle. You are better off with an SUV for hauling cargo and driving larger loads around the town. In addition, owning an SUV is more comfortable and safe than driving a smaller vehicle.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments