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Responsible citizenship . . . Making conscious decisions

Choices that benefit others are at the heart of responsible citizenship

Responsible citizenship . . . Making conscious decisions

Miles Davidson is a senior sociology major from St. Paul, Minn. (Photography by Carolyn Cruz)

Responsible citizenship . . . Making conscious decisions

Choices that benefit others are at the heart of responsible citizenship

Life can be simplified as no more than a series of choices. Choices that ultimately determine our reality, and more importantly how much impact we have in the lives of others. Therefore, responsible citizenship can be defined as people who consistently make decisions that benefit others. Everyone has the capacity to be a responsible citizen, but the extent to which one is a responsible citizen depends on how much they sacrifice. If responsible citizenship were easy, we would live in a world absent from oppression, free from anthropogenic environmental issues, and foreign to extreme poverty.

In an age of globalization, our decisions now extend far beyond people that we physically interact with. The domino effect of our choices means that treating people with kindness is only a miniscule aspect of responsible citizenship. What we consume can contribute to oppression in another part of the world, degrade our environment, or even reduce our life chances. Responsible citizens understand this concept, and make conscious decisions over easy decisions.

Responsible citizens also give to others without the expectation of getting anything in return. They act not because of the potential for personal gain, but because they feel that it is the right thing to do. The most responsible citizens promote the betterment of humanity, even when it means giving up the comforts of complacency. There are many aspects of responsible citizenship, and all of them involve people making conscious decisions to improve the lives of others.

 

Next essay: Jonathan L. Davis – Harmony amongst adults 
TEDx at TCU – “What does responsible citizenship look like?”