Publicado el 07-18-2012
Being a Good Citizen
Citizenship does not mean only to have a passport to travel abroad or to be able to comply with certain legal requisites in a country. It is important to consider as a duty of the citizens to be knowledgeable about the political affairs of the country, the serious ones as well as the lesser ones. If this connection does not exist between the citizens and these affairs, it is highly improbable for democracy to function, a democracy that has its highest expression in elections.
The political formation of the citizens is intimately connected to their civic culture. This civic culture comprises concepts and feelings that go well beyond the slogans from political parties. Civism joins more than partisanship. Partisanship by its own definition implies dividing the feelings and interests of the community depending on the ideology of the parties. However, when there is a solid civic culture, well documented and well inspired, patriotism prevails beyond partisan differences as does the will to guide national activities in a positive way for others without ignoring, of course, the presence of the parties.
Civic culture should begin in the home and, this is important, in the schools as soon as the children start attending. There they must learn that patriotism is love of fatherland beyond the political differences that correspond to the ideologies of any party. Thus, in the school, from a very early age, with the pledge of allegiance to the flag, the children begin to strengthen their patriotic feelings and the conviction that parties might be important, but more important than those parties are the feelings, the devotion, and the loyalty for the fatherland that belongs to all.
We mentioned before that civism has to be encouraged also at home, within the family, so everything possible should be done for the family to be an important nucleus of national life, of society. The family must be considered as the basic school, where the parents are the teachers, so to speak. Of course, this is assuming that those parents have learned at school how the fatherland is defined and how one can serve it. Unfortunately, for many years now, there have been deficiencies in the schools, particularly public schools where with artificial arguments neither good citizenship nor moral values, so important in a child’s formation, are taught.