The Basics: Citizenship
Being a civic hero starts with being a member of a community, also known as a citizen. You may be a citizen of a family, school, town, state, and country! As a member of each of these communities, you have rights and privileges. For example, citizens of the United States have rights and privileges provided to them by the U.S. Constitution and laws passed by the U.S. Congress.
Let's take a closer look at what it means to be a U.S. citizen.
Along with rights and privileges come responsibilities! These responsibilities are things that we should do as active members of our community. Responsibilities help us protect our individual rights and make our communities work. What are these responsibilities, you ask? Basic responsibilities include respecting others. Citizens of a community may also have responsibilities specific to that community.
Everyone must fulfill basic civic responsibilities, but some people do more. Can you think of someone who always goes above and beyond? A person who helps strangers? A person who volunteers to do the jobs no one else wants to do? A person who sees a need and is the first on the scene?
Let's take some time to look at examples of these people.
The people you have just read about are Civic Heroes! They demonstrate three important characteristics of active citizenship: they participate in the community, they are involved in changing society and the policies that govern it, and they challenge the idea that it's impossible to make the world better.
Here are some more examples of people that are taking steps to make the world a better place.
Now it is your turn to celebrate someone in your community who has made a difference. It can be a small difference that this person makes every day - going above and beyond! Or maybe your Civic Hero made a few big life decisions that have left a lasting impact on the world. Take some time to think about who is a Civic Hero to YOU!