This post was written by Rachel B. in response to the Day 18 challenge action: Share your ideas about what it means to be a responsible citizen in 21st century America.
In our society it’s easy to get caught up in the capitalistic materialism of mainstream America, especially in today’s age with social media’s grip on the American community. Unfortunately, the results of materialistic America are detrimental to what it means to be a responsible citizen, in that many people forget to treat others fairly and with kindness. However, I believe that we can change American society if more people become involved in trying to be a responsible citizen. In 21st century America, citizens who promote equality and support a community in which conscientiousness and kindness is the norm, I believe that more people will understand what it means to be a responsible citizen, and change American society for the better. The 30 Day Challenge exposes students to what it means to be a responsible citizen, so that we will be equipped with the tools we need to understand equity, moral goodness, and respect, furthering the goal of creating an accepting community.
Within our community, there are many traits that make up what a responsible citizen should be, such as someone who is fair, understanding, cooperative, and loyal. These traits are important, as it is easy to get caught up in the constant arguments of today’s divided society, especially when politics are involved. However, I have experienced the conversations between responsible citizens regarding politics, from two citizens with opposing views, and it was respectful and calm, and both parties were willing to listen to the other. This experience was eye-opening, as many conversations about politics result in ruined relationships, anger, and hatred, especially from two opposing political parties. However, each side let the other speak, and I asked questions, to clarify some points that were being made. I encourage others to participate in this experience as responsible citizens, because we can show the rest of the community that politics don’t have to result in arguments from opposing political parties. Responsible citizens are able to have these intellectual conversations, or at least work hard to learn how to have them. I believe that if more people have polite conversations, then American society can eliminate a factor that provokes violence and hatred in the community.
Furthermore, responsible citizens are aware of the divisions within America’s society, and as citizens we can promote a community that is a whole unit so that hostility can be avoided. An issue within American society is the lines that divide citizens such as political parties, races and ethnicities, regions and locations. Thus, responsible citizens see through these lines, and rather than dividing people into groups, we understand how to form a community in which no one person feels threatened for their beliefs, customs, or way of life. Thus, I believe that responsible citizens can look through the hostility, and put an end to racism and discrimination.
Ultimately, responsible citizens must understand justice, equality, community, diversity, and liberty, and know how they can use these ideas to make society a better place. In a perfect world, everyone would agree on everything, there would be no discrimination, and people of all races and religions would be able to experience equality. Unfortunately, perfect worlds don’t exist. However, I believe that with the work of responsible citizens, we can create an environment in which people of American society can feel more comfortable being themselves, and put an end to the divisions that separate Americans and create hostility. The 30 Day Challenge shows students what it means to be a responsible citizen so that we can begin our experience of helping others to create an inspiring and loyal community.