“I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time—when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.” Carl Sagan, scientist and author.
You want to improve America, help in the process of it becoming America 2. If so then understand that we all have a part to play in this process through the many roles we assume in our lives. Be the best associate, business owner, soldier, parent, teacher, friend, police officer that you can be and understand that in doing so you contribute a positive force that’s helping to keep America together and prosper.
Yet each of us needs to take the time to rise above our everyday roles and take the time to focus on being better citizens. In American society this has always been a neglected role and it’s time for us to realize that being a good citizen is just as important as the other roles we play in our everyday lives.
What’s a good citizen, a great citizen? Here are some traits:
- They’re well informed about what’s going on in the world, taking the time to keep up with current events and to delve into the history behind those events. This helps them to better select political leaders that know what’s going on. When you’re familiar with current events and situations then it’s more difficult for a politician to bullshit you into thinking they know what’s going on, also you’re a better judge of their plans and strategies. Uninformed, ignorant voters most of the time help elect uninformed and ignorant public servants. Look at some of our elected officials. First thing that comes to mind, who in God’s name voted for this person. Just imagine if the majority of us kept track of what’s going on in the world and in America and we were also familiar with the history behind current events. It would be a lot harder for lackluster politicians to get elected. You improve the situational awareness of the citizenry which improves the number of capable people that those people vote into office.
- They vote and find ways to make sure that elected officials know they’re watching to make sure they’re doing what needs to be done.
- They have patriotism and they use this as a force to drive them to be as good as they can be in the roles they find themselves in because they understand that it’s good for the country.
- They take parenting beyond providing and understand the importance of teaching their children about respect, responsibility, character, self discipline and being a good citizen. They understand that as a parent they have the great responsibility of instilling into their children the importance of being a good citizen and helping them become so.
- They take an objective look at themselves, they use introspection to question their beliefs and ideals and therefore look at their environment as it truly is, their viewpoints not affected by emotions.
Let’s focus on these traits, their importance and how to acquire them.
Read trait 1 again.
It is a tragic fact that we have the internet at our disposal to learn on our own (free of what anybody else says) about the world we live in yet most of the time we don’t take advantage of this and also sadly we believe the information fed to us by politicians and big business.
Do you read the news. What’s going on locally, nationally and around the world. It amazes me that many people don’t read the news, they say it’s too depressing or its fake news. In my opinion most news agencies report events exactly as they happened but then put a spin on it to cater to their demographics. Sad but true, it’s all about money. Regardless, you have the internet at your disposal, you can get on your phone or laptop and google something about a news event or article and find out more about it. Go behind the scene, look at the history. When you hear someone say something you’re not sure about google it. Find out yourself. Just be careful where you get your information from on the net. political, company or special interest web sites can be misleading and use false information.
Don’t just use news websites to understand what’s going on, You’re already on the net so its not that difficult to dig a bit deeper to thoroughly understand why a particular event happened. There is a lot of accurate information on the internet but you have to learn where to look and where to not look. Use your common sense.
There’s also nothing wrong with picking up a book to read about a subject. Now that we live in an age of electronic books that we can read on our phones and laptops or listen to in a strictly audio format its much easier to do so once you have your devices set up to do so. Just be be careful who’s books you read and don’t get mislead. It happens. Always look at a subject from differing viewpoints and then form your own conclusions, your own mental pictures.
The internet isn’t just for facebook, dating and shopping. It’s a knowledge portal there to help you become better informed about what’s going on and what happened in the past. Learn and make an effort to use it as such.
Read trait 2 again.
Have I ever voted no, …because like a lot of other people I felt my vote wouldn’t make a difference and I’ve never been terribly impressed by any candidates for any political office. As the years have gone by I have come to see that as a mistake. We should all if we are able, we should vote. If the majority of us don’t vote and then a small group of people that do elect someone who can’t do the job then that’s the fault of those who voted and also those who didn’t.
Once we’ve all voted then it’s our responsibility to email our politicians, put on mass rallies and public events to let them know how we feel about the job they’re doing whether it be good or bad. Don’t just rally and do events when you’re fed up, if an elected official is doing a good job then do a support rally for them, give them some encouragement. It also shows that you’re watching them.
Read trait 3 again.
What is patriotism. Love of one’s country. It’s so very easy to look at the negative aspects of one’s country and not look at the positive things. Instill patriotism in yourself and do something that you think helps your country in some way. This could be you volunteering your services to help the needy, voting, going to work and being a good associate, getting along well with strangers (showing unity), being a good parent, serving in the military etc. There are so many ways you can make a positive difference. Think of something.
Read trait 4 again.
So many of us as parents never get beyond the basic requirements of a parent, we love our children, we provide for them but we don’t discipline them enough, we don’t give them enough responsibilities (taking the trash out, washing dishes, doing their own laundry, learning to cook for themselves), we don’t spend enough time learning about our children’s personalities through conversation and doing things together. A parent beyond providing for a child should understand that they have also been tasked with teaching that child how to be a responsible adult. That’s something that not a lot of people are good at. Think about it. If your parents didn’t do a good job raising you then chances are you probably won’t be a good parent. Certainly there are exceptions to this rule but I still believe this to be the norm.
- Give your kids some responsibilities, taking the trash out, washing dishes, mowing the yard, getting good grades, doing laundry, cooking for the whole family, keeping their room neat, getting good grades on a consistent basis. Not only give them some responsibilities, you should also do it when they’re young. At least at 5 years of age. This will make it easier for you to give them more responsibilities as they get older.
- Make sure your child is computer savvy, very important in today’s society
- Show and tell them you love and care about them.
- Don’t be afraid to discipline them when necessary, especially when they try you. When they begin to test the waters and see how much they can get away with.
- Manage your time to spend quality time with your child in conversation and doing things together during which you learn about their personality, about their mindset. This is also a perfect time to talk about the world, people, being an adult, teaching them about love of country, respect, social interactions, responsibility etc.
Remember your role as a parent is very very important. Don’t forget that.
Read trait 5 again.
Look at yourself. Look within. Step out of your character, your day to day roles and pick over your beliefs, dislikes, desires, your dreams and use objective reasoning to decide what is right and what is wrong, what needs to be thrown away and what should be kept. What new concepts and beliefs need to be put in place. Then look at the world and try to see it as it is and not the way you want it to be. Use all the scientific disciplines and your own experiences to look upon the world I say again…..as it is. Then go forth as a student of the world and a good citizen who tries to help wherever they can to make it a better world to live in. You can start by helping others to create America 2.