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Stephanie Agustin

on 24 January 2014

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Transcript of Citizenship

Not many people in general like reading, either they find it uninteresting or they don't have time. A news paper contains many important events that are happening in our country and the world.
."A person who does not read newspapers is like one shut up in a closed door. We may have the radio and the television today, but they do not give us detailed information as the newspaper does." stated an article. Newspapers have more depth to the situations. Not only is it detailed it is there at your hands to read it repeatedly. It may cost money to purchase a newspaper but at least you are informed on whats going on around you.
What is a good Citizen?
A good Citizen is someone who completes their responsibilities in thier country. Voting, Paying Taxes, Jury Duty, Reading the Newspaper, Joining a Community Organization, Serving in the Military are all prime examples of being a good citizen. Also being a good citizen means knowing what going on in their community.
Aspects of Citizenship
Why should we pay taxes?, Many americans might ask themselves. Countless americans may think that the government keeps the tax money for themselves but that is false." Tax revenue is money that governments collect to provide services and to pay for public expenses.The authority of the federal government to tax the people comes from the Constitution. Article I, Section 8, says: "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defence and general Welfare of the United States...."This is stating that tax money goes back to the people through public services. For example city transportation, education, healthcare, etc. Even though many americans may argue and say they don't use these services, they still end up using some type of service that is payed for by the government.
Voting is a valuable action to being a good citizen. When a individual votes they are being heard by there government ."The drinking age, the age at which you can get a driver's license, and the amount of money your teachers receive are some of the decisions made by elected officials. In making those decisions, elected officials respond to people who bother to vote more than to those who abstain". stated an article from congress. Congress is stating that when a person votes their voices are being heard then the others that don't vote. There are many different reasons why many people don't vote."Of those not voting, 8.6% were out of town, 18.9% were too busy, 12.7% did not like the candidates or campaign issues, and 15.7% reported not being interested. Other responses seem contrary to what we hear about in the media: only 2.7% could not find their polling place and 5.5% experienced a registration issue." These statistics were taken from an article based on the census. Even though many have their reasons for not voting they should still try to make an effort to contribute their voice in democracy.
Many americans believe that jury duty is an unnecessary annoying responsibility but this responsibility is a privilege. Not many countries allow their people to be apart of the government decisions ."Simply put, it may well be the closest you ever come to the Constitution -- not just exercising a right it gives you, but participating in the process through which constitutional rights and values come alive in practice" stated an article from The Atlantic. It is not everyday that one gets to use judicial power. Some americans feel as if jury burden and waste of their time because the process of deliberation. "Through the process of deliberation, jurors are made aware of different viewpoints, sometimes even new worlds, as they are asked to judge life choices, industries, and realities that they may never have encountered before." Deliberating may be a long process but it has its benefits. Experiencing things such as these is a privilege to view anothers way of life. Many take this advantage for granted which is a sad thing.

Numerous americans conclude that joining the army means signing their death certificate, which is not true. There are many other positions then just fighting in combat missions. For example,"While all servicemembers are trained to respond to threats, 91 percent of military jobs do not involve direct combat operations.Non-combat jobs in the Military include roles in journalism, business administration, food service and human resources."These are facts that are provided from the military its self. Even though the military may be risky you are fighting for the country that provides you with a opportunity for a future.
Not many americans participate in the act of community service. "In fact, it is generally difficult to persuade people to take any specific course of action, including joining a voluntary association, unless they view this action as a necessary component of the proper fulfillment of some role obligation." stated an article. Community service is not only volunteering in a group it also means helping out in your community by any way. For example, picking up litter from the floor when you pass by is an example of community service. Community service does not mean to do big things for your community, it just means to make your community a better place for you and your fellow neighbors.
Knowing your rights in your country is a very important way to protect yourself from the government. Your rights contains things you can do that the government has no say. Many americans that don't know their rights are not protecting themselves from any unfair justice. a survey was taken by the McCormick Tribune Foundation, showed that while 52 percent of Americans can name at least two characters of the Simpsons TV cartoon family, only 28 percent are able to name more than one of the five fundamental freedoms granted to them by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. These statistics show that many americans don't practice their right to fair justice. This can harm them because the less people know about their rights the more the government will abuse them.
Being a bystander is a human nature for some of us. For others moral courage is a reflex. Majority of americans are scared to help others in a conflict because they are afraid of their lives becoming in danger as well. Many studies were conducted to explain why people just sit back and do nothing. "Researchers have suggested the effects of a “confusion of responsibility,” where bystanders fail to help someone in distress because they don’t want to be mistaken for the cause of that distress." Meaning many people don't help because they don't want to be falsely accused. Numerous people can argue and say its not there problem it doesn't have anything to do with them but what many people don't know is that the same thing can happen to them. Being an up stander is a big part of being a good citizen because not only are you helping another citizen you are raising your voice to others.
Why commit a crime anyway? Studies show that "criminals like the excitement of doing what is prohibited. It is a characteristic they demonstrate often very early in life. Normal living is boring. Breaking the law is fun." breaking laws puts others people lives in danger in the process. Crimes make community's unsafe and make other people more nervous to walk the street. Many americans may argue and say criminals don't know what they are doing, they are mentally unstable but "clinical psychologist Stanton Samenow. Criminals are the way they are because that is what they choose to do. From his experience, Samenow argues that even if a criminal has a mental illness, they commit crimes because they want to do so." Meaning that criminals know what they are doing.Not breaking the law is easier to do and safer for their community.
There are many other ways to become a good citizen. These examples are things that are more common in the united states. Becoming a good citizen can benefit many people and if everyone decides to change their ways, we can become a better country all together.
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