August 19, 2016

Civic Duty is Key to the Nation Building Process

There is no denying that all aspects of development: ranging from peace, unity, mindset, health, higher education, vocational trainings, skilled personnels, industries, transportation, communication, information technologies, E-government, E-commerce, E-banking, E-education, sports, to anything you can think of, would contribute towards the nation building process. However, I’m of the opinion that civic duty plays a key role in the nation building.
Many a writer had contributed articles touching on the subject of the nation building. Their approaches varied and covered a wide range of very useful and tangible ideas and suggestions and examples learned from the experiences of other countries. I’m grateful to them for their endeavours to enlighten us and introduce us to the very valuable informations they provided. However, I haven’t come across many articles that  emphasize the role of civic duty in the nation building process. There had been some casual mentions of civic duties in  very few articles, including some of mine, in the past. Thus in this article I intend to highlight the key role that the civic duty plays in the nation building process.
All citizens have to fulfil their civic duties to be worthy citizens of the country they live in or call it their home. Here, I would like to clarify the word citizen. For the purpose of this article it represents everyone who lives in a particular country, irrespective of their nationalities or citizenship. In other words they may be expatriates or natives. As everyone dwelling in any country, whether one be a native or an expat, has the duty to observe the laws and orders of that country, thus I assume that they also have obligations to observe the civic duties of that country.
Before proceeding any further, I think I should mention the generally accepted definition of the civic duty. It is defined as an unwritten rule that says citizens of a country owe some kind of loyalty and allegiance to their government. In return they receive protection and civil rights from the government. Citizens should be mindful that with the rights come the responsibilities. Thus, it is also defined as an action or responsibility expected of every member of a society. Generally accepted examples of responsibilities include obeying the laws, paying taxes to the government, voting in elections and doing volunteer works. The volunteerism could take many forms, such as serving in a shelter, raising money for charity, working as a volunteer fire fighter, advocating for political and social issues or doing communal works — to mention a few examples.
Though civic duties are not mandated by law in most countries, it is the responsibility of those living in any country, to observe their civic duties in return for the protections and rights they are receiving from that country. In the beginning of this article, one may recall that I had included expatriates as citizens, though they may not have a citizenship status of the country they are living in or working, they too have the obligations to abide by the laws and orders of that country, which is analogous to observing the civic duty.
People often take civic duty or responsibility to a higher level: above and beyond what is expected of them. Many people help out in the community or advocate for groups who are lacking a voice. They provide an excellent example for the rest of their community by always following the laws and rules and helping out when possible. They encourage people to stand up for what they believe in and and do everything they can to promote goodwill within their neighbourhoods, cities and country. They would not hesitate to sacrifice to help others, especially in times of emergencies. People who set out to be leaders must have a strong sense of civic responsibility. They must be willing to show they are honest, ethical and care about others.
Besides the above mentioned general definitions and concepts of civic duty, I would like to take it a step further and state my ideas in connection with the civic duty. I strongly believe that if everyone of us are dutiful in observing the civic duty in every aspect of our daily lives, we would be able to create a disciplined and developed country in no time. By that, I meant to say that if everyone observes the basic civic duties by obeying the rules, laws,  community and social values and customs, the undesirable and despicable problems, such as: reckless littering, stray dog problems, flooding in the city due to blocked drains, traffic jams, encroachments of sidewalks by indiscriminate businesses and vendors, noise pollutions due to inconsiderate use of loudspeakers, jumping of queues in public places, accidents due to reckless drivings and endless list of such problems would disappear for sure.
Furthermore, the civic duty is, in my opinion, somehow connected to the mindsets, morals and manners of the people. A person who has a positive mindset, good morals and manners is a person who also observes the civic duty diligently, while a persons who do not observe the civic duties are those who possess negative mindsets and lacks proper morals and manners. In other words, the observance of the civic duty and the mindsets, morals and manners of the people are interrelated. As the people are the main players in the building of a nation, my conclusion is that the civic duty is the key to the nation building process. This is my personal opinion and may not agree with the generally accepted definitions or concepts of the civic duty. However, I sincerely believe that my perception would be acceptable to most of the readers.
During my schooling days, the State-run schools taught Civics, which dealt with the civic duty and the Christian Missionary schools taught Morals and Manners as extra-cirriculum subjects. Both the subjects trained the students to become responsible, law abiding and well-behaved persons later in life. One or both of those subjects should be reintroduced in our schools today to breed responsible and civic duty-conscious citizens who would contribute greatly towards the nation building process.


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