Citizenship Letter

True Citizenship Means Commitment


            How often do you seriously reflect on your American citizenship? Are you inclined to take it for granted? Certainly, it is the right of many people to be an American citizen provided that one or more conditions are met, the most common one being simply to be born in our great land.

            However, this right to enjoy what our country offers really is a gift that exists because of the different significant sacrifices made by many of our predecessors and contemporaries. I believe when one is given a gift one must attempt to or actually express his/her thanks in an appropriate manner.

            I am not certain how many Americans are aware of and understand these sacrifices, and perhaps we need to be more knowledgeable about our heritage so that appreciation will result, leading more citizens to realize the need for their contributions. The studying and proper teaching of our history is critical. I ask you to contemplate if you have correctly said “thank you” to our country beyond existing, occupying space, and living your own narrow, lawful life. Isn’t there more that one should do as gratitude for a free life in our democratic land?

            All the wonders and freedoms we have as Americans are a legacy from our ancestors – acts of the highest altruism that are meant to endure for endless posterity, but whose favorable consequences will not always exist unless we “step up to the plate because it is now our turn to bat” in the lineup of American citizenship. People pay their heating, telephone, electric, etc. bills, but they cannot comprehend that there is a more critical bill for living as an American citizen.

            If you believe that your debt is settled when you pay your taxes and obey all laws, then you fail to understand a major obligation of American citizenship. Just like the best student in school actively engages in his/her classes instead of following a career of passivity, so too is the best citizen an active one.

            I am not saying that everyone needs to be another George Washington, but everyone should at least continually do something to improve life in his/her community. Examine your interests and capabilities. There must be some time, talent, and/or treasure that you can donate. Why not have a major part of your legacy be a footprint of community service instead of a buttprint of only self-service and inactivity?