There are 6 Civic Responsibilities:

  1. Support and defend the Constitution.
  2. Stay informed of the issues affecting your community.
  3. Participate in the democratic process.
  4. Respect and obey federal, state, and local laws.
  5. Respect the rights, beliefs, and opinions of others.
  6. Participate in your local community

As a society we are all familiar with the term “civic duty” but it is a discussion that is rarely had unless we are mentioning the armed forces or going to jury duty. Civic duty is a core concept that shapes the foundation of how we interact with each other. This brings me to the main theme of this article: what type of domino effect are you having on your communities?  Every day we are impacted by the words, actions and energy of those we encounter. Although many of us are unaware of the social fabrics that surround us, we all should be aware that it is shaping who we are and who we can be. Good or bad everything that we say, do, and don’t do is being absorbed into our communities and is creating our social norms.

There are 6 civic duties but for this article, I will focus on two of them that speak the loudest to me. As your source for leadership content, it is our hope to elevate the collective due diligence in this area.  

Civic Duty #2: Stay informed of the issues affecting your community

The first civic responsibility that I will discuss today is “stay informed of the issues affecting your community”. If we were to put our own value on our communities we would see its distinct and immense value. Beyond that, if we were to truly understand the impact that our communities have on us and our loved ones I think that there would be a greater effort to improve our surroundings. There is an African Proverb that I whole heartily believe in that says “it takes a village to raise a child”. We all are susceptible to influences therefore having a connection to the pulse of our communities is not only extremely beneficial to ourselves but crucial to living our best life. Historically to live in a community and to belong to a community were one and the same but in today’s world, these ideas have been separated. As individuals, we must all acknowledge that there are numerous benefits that are invisible to the naked eye that only exists because of community. For instance, our perspectives, social norms, sense of safety & opportunities all stem from our communities. The strength of our social fabric plays a direct role in our daily burdens and joys.

Civic Duty #5: Respect of the rights, beliefs, and opinions of others

The second civic responsibility I will look at is “respect of the rights, beliefs, and opinions of others”. This duty is important to me is for several reasons, the first being that we all have 2 ears and 1 mouth. Therefore to become more better people we should all listen twice as much as we speak. If we are able to do this we would all be much a smarter & happier group of people. Secondly, as human beings, we all have the right to be viewed and respected as human beings. As human beings, our strength lies in our ability to be limitless. When we are unable to respect this right we bring down our collective capabilities of our human race. Our ability to be empathetic not only provides us with a greater sense emotional awareness but a greater ability to connect with others at a higher level.

Every day people are struggling mentally and/or physically to get by, we all are capable of doing a little bit extra to improve people’s day. This is not only our civic responsibility but it is a great thing to do and it creates positive environments. Our civic duty should be view as who we are and not as something nice to do. The more active citizens we have in our communities the better off we will all be during challenging times. The more we are focused on reducing the number of marginalized groups within our communities we are directly reducing the amount of actions rooted in hate, fear and anger. Are you ready to be more present and participative within your community today? If so what is one thing that you can start doing more of? Active citizens are difference makers and we all can be agents of change in making the impossible possible.

Leadership is believing that the well-being of each individual increases the collective value & quality of life of the whole. It is time for us to get on a new page, the root of any successful relationship is based on having clear expectations, by knowing our civic duties we can reduce the amount of unnecessary misunderstanding.

5 Simple Things We All Can Do
To Become Better Citizens in our Communities:

  1. Own your civic responsibility for creating a better community
  2. Every bit of positivity goes a long way
  3. Allow your Presence in your community to be more powerful than your absence
  4. Stay connected to what is happening in the hearts and minds of your community members, make it a point to meet new people in your community.
  5. Listen twice as much as you speak, be committed to learning something new everyday

by Christoff Kyere