The word “Citizenship” seems to be a buzz word for both political parties and their speech writers. The point they are desperately trying to make is that Americans need to be good citizens if they wish to “change” the world. I fear that neither party really knows what good citizenship looks like, nor do they practice the principles of citizenship.
What are the characteristics of Citizenship? Every quarter, in the school where I teach, students who exemplify good citizenship receive an award. Here is the scale that is followed when choosing a student:
COURAGE — Student must exhibit bravery, valor and guts. It takes courage to stand up for what is right, when the crowd is going in the opposite direction,
HONOR – Student exhibits loyalty, respect, and trust towards others.
LEADERSHIP—Promotes respect for authority, school policies, and property. Leads others to do the same.
SERVICE—Accepts responsibility; shows initiative. Does things without being asked, that benefit others and not just self.
PATRIOTISM – Exhibits love of country, city/town, school, and neighborhood.
RESPECT – Does unto others as he/she would have done to them. Conscientious and thoughtful of others.
If I had to award our politicians, leaders, political parties, CEO’s, Bankers, and others who run our country with a Citizenship Award, I wonder if any of them could meet the criteria. When November rolls around and it is time for Americans to vote, I hope they will consider whether the person they will vote in for the job of president, senator, representative, etc. can meet the criteria elementary students must meet in order to be a good citizen. Our leaders should be the model that the citizens of the country follow. It will be interesting to see if they can live up to these high standards and “change” the world.