Country and Citizenship
The best values in the world are worthless if you have no place to practice them. America affords us a place to practice our values. So we value this place, our country. Many Americans believe that ours is the greatest country on the planet. People risk their lives daily to come here. Those of us who are citizens here are quite fortunate. It is our country and we pledge our allegiance to it. Students are taught in school to value the country. Many schools start their days with a pledge of allegiance to the flag and country, and sing patriotic songs. The playing of the national anthem before major sporting events and at other large gatherings is further evidence of the value we hold for our country. The love of country is very strong in American culture and highly valued by Americans.
To value the country is not necessarily to claim that it is perfect. Some terrible things have happened in this land to some of our citizens. In fact, many new arrivals have faced mistreatment and discrimination. But, eventually they have blended in and developed a love for the country. We value the country and appreciate those who admit the good and the bad about the country and try to make it better.
People with good character who love the country try to be good citizens. They protect the country when it needs protection from within and without. They obey the just laws of the country and work to change unjust laws. They become educated so they can participate responsibly in the Democratic process. They practice good citizenship and rear their children to be good citizens. They respect and show appreciation to those who defend the country.
There are many ways people show good character in relationship to their citizenship. Some volunteer to work with youth, and some youth volunteer and work with the elderly.
Some join the armed forces while others join the Peace Corps. Some teach school while others study so they can one day teach school or do one of the thousand other things they could do to be good citizens and show good character.
Contributing to the country is a good way for one who values the country to show good character. If you value the country and have good character, your behavior should show it.
People who have good character and value the country don’t need to show that value in the same way as another might show it; they just need to show it in a way that is in line with their feelings about the country. You may show your love for the country simply by getting a good education and preparing yourself to be the best citizen you can be. Becoming educated is one thing that good patriotic character demands of you at this point.
Rules to Live By
1. Obey the rules.
2. Keep your environment clean.
4. Get a good education.
5. Pay your taxes.
7. Give to charitable organizations.
8. Prepare to rear responsible children.
9. Respect the flag.
10. Always stand for the national anthem.
Character in Daily Life
Mr. Johnson received a letter from the court requesting that he serve as a juror. He didn’t have time for such things so he called and told them he didn’t want to serve. He was told that it was his duty and he had to serve. He angrily went and served. While there he met a lady who told him that she served gladly whenever she was picked. She thought it was great to have such an opportunity and saw it as a part of her citizenship duty. After a long conversation with this lady Mr. Johnson started rethinking his position on jury duty.
How does willingly serving jury duty show good character?