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GAMBIA NEWS FOR FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY
Values of good citizenship
Thursday, May 06, 2010
Human beings are accustomed to living under laws and norms that are dictated to us by society. However, merely following those societal norms does not necessarily make us good citizens. Being a citizen and being a good citizen are far from being the same thing.
For one to be a good citizen, there are certain expectations that must be fulfilled.
First, one has to be a good person, meaning one must have principles and live according to ethical values such as honesty.
For instance, there are several things a good citizen can do to support the state.
A good citizen must obey the state, by being law-abiding.
This is based on the understanding that good citizenship ensures that people will live in peace and security, which are essential for a nation's development, since no meaningful development can take place in a state of anarchy.
One other way of demonstrating good citizenship is to be helpful to one's compatriots. All around us, there are people who are in dire need of help. Thus, it is an obligation to come to their aid.
Another aspect to the issue is that being a good citizen and exhibiting good citizenship is not the same thing as being the citizen of a country.
In fact, it is not uncommon to see people who are technically not citizens of a country, but who exhibit all the virtues of good citizenship, not found in many holders of a country's passport.
Another important way of demonstrating good citizenship is to play an active part in community development, such as the neighborhood set settal exercise, participating in street maintenance, and so on.
Citizens are entitled to the protection of the law, which guarantees their rights and freedoms in the community.
Yet it must be clearly understood that society has placed limits on those rights, since one?s rights can be enjoyed so long as one does not infringe on the rights and freedoms of others.
As the saying goes, freedoms and rights can never be absolute. The good citizen is, therefore, the person who is able to recognize and live with the fact that his liberty ends where the rights and freedoms of the next citizen begins.
"Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history."