Have You Done Your Civic Duty?
This came to mind just before Independence Day and I was really feeling good about it. Then the computer went down for a week. Now I read a blog that elicited much comment and debate about God, liberals, conservatives, democrates, republicans, even the idiosyncrasies of our founding fathers. Although viewpoints are a wonderful thing and that free speech is one of our must cherished laws, I saw much disconnect and no commonality. Then I read a piece today from Ronald Maxwell and I felt good again. I think our commonality is civic duty.
I heard this term frequently growing up in the 50's and 60's but at the end of the 60's it seemed to die out. I would get it from scouting, teachers, parents, policemen, firemen, politicians; you name it. Now I never questioned my civic duty as it was told to me because common sense has always been my motivation (with God's help, of course). But recently I wondered why I don't here it anymore and I think it is because people don't understand what it is or how to perform it. If you don't know what your civic duty is, well, I'm going to tell you.
To stay neutral on this definition, I am going to give you Webster's version: 2. of or pertaining to citizenship; civil: civic duties. 3. of citizens; civic pride.
What that means to me is that being citizens of these United States carries a responsibility. The resposibility only lasts as long as you are a citizen of these United States (using our country as an example) or until you die. If you say to me that you have DONE your civic duty then I say to you that you have failed. If you say to me that you will do A civic duty then I say to you that you aren't worthy of citizenship. It not a duty done once or occasionally but at every turn and aspect of your life. It is ongoing and never fullfilled.
Civic duties can be joining military service, helping your neighbor and/or community, giving your time and skills for the benefit of all to enjoy. It is policing your own house and the political house of your town, county, state and country. It is your duty to fight the injustices of our society and make the laws of the land enforced equally and without predjudice. There is so much more and I will leave that for you to dwell on.
America is unique is this world because of the laws we created that gave us our civil liberties. These laws are for our citizens and no one else. That is why people come to this country to become citizens-to have this uniqueness that we provide. We must not get lax in our duties or allow outside influence corrupt and erode what we have and stand for.
We have basic priciples that we are suppose to build on. I don't care about the private lives of those that enacted our laws. The important purpose is to uphold the laws as dear as your children. Children. I can see a generation and a half where it is basically unknown what civic duty means. We have neglected it for too long and now we are reaping the rotten fruit. Teach our children. Teach each other. This is the commonality of all citizens of these United States. Have pride. Do your civic duty every day before it is too late.
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