How to Become a Good Citizen

Good citizenship is more than just an accident of birthplace. People who have immigrated and taken the citizenship test have already learnt some of the lessons of becoming a part of the democratic process. In either case, citizenship traits only follow from a decision to take on those characteristics. Commitment to and participation in positive activities are a part of taking an active role in the enhancement of the community.

Take part in the democratic process. Register to vote. Find out about candidates and political issues through the television or print media, at the library or through civic organisations. Keep track of election days and remember to vote.

Obey the laws. Learn about traffic laws by reading material from your state's Department of Motor Vehicles. Find out about new laws by listening to the news and keeping up with current events. Follow the laws in your home, school, and work activities. Pay your taxes as required by law.

Support causes that make a positive difference. Give of your time to help in a homeless shelter, give of your skills to help build a home for a low-income family, or give of your money to help with medical research. Any way you can make life better for others will make you a better citizen.

Help your community through neighbourhood involvement. Meet those who live around you and offer your friendship. Assist your neighbours in times of distress. Set up a crime watch program.

Maintain a positive outlook towards others around you. Respect people of all nationalities, ethnic backgrounds, religions and income levels. When you see another person who is being taken advantage of or disrespected, stand up for him.

Care about environmental issues. Recycle, reuse, use green products, and help protect natural habitats. Through civic engagement, help get laws passed to benefit the earth environment.

Think about how your actions will affect the health of others. Do your part to avoid spreading viruses and other infections. You can do this by wearing a sterile mask or staying home when you are sick.

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