Guest Column: Citizenship

The definition of citizenship is the status of a citizen with its duties, rights, and privileges. When I hear the word citizenship, I immediately think of what it means to be part of the economy. The economy is a broad topic. Although, there are many underlying details under it. This is what I believe being a citizen looks like:

In order to be a proper citizen, you must be part of our economy and democracy. That means that you could have a paying job, be a taxpayer, have a personal residency or home, and be able to contribute to society and give back to our economy. This could mean you are a small business owner, an entrepreneur, work or become an employee of a small business, work in a large company or business, etc… Being part of the economy also means that you must receive, but also give back. Here is an example: say you own a small business such as a bakery. Every time someone buys a donut, they receive a donut, and you receive your money. Where does this money go? Well, back into the economy because money must be spent right? (There’s no point in money if it’s not eventually going somewhere – being spent). Therefore, the economy continues in a cycle: money from goods or services goes back into the economy to create more jobs, services, and goods. Being part of the economy is an important part of being a good citizen.

Another thing is being part of your community. This could be anywhere from voting locally, paying taxes (which also ties into economy), or volunteering somewhere. Some examples are volunteering at soup kitchens, animal shelters, homeless shelters, and certain places in Spokane such as the Vanessa Behan crisis center, youth centers, Boys and Girls Clubs, and much more. You should do those things if you are willing and able, otherwise you could donate. There are many different local places you can donate to. Another way of being a good citizen is just being kind in general. There is a difference between nice and kind. If you are nice, you might help other people or act kind but you’re not doing it because you want to and you want to be loving and helpful, you’re really just being nice without thinking. On the other hand, if you are being kind, you would be helpful and considerate out of love and from the heart. That is important because there has to be a difference or else nothing would really be sincere and being sincere is also important part of being in the community with other human beings.

Finally, choosing to vote and being part of our democracy too is, believe it or not, contributing to being a good citizen. Voting locally can directly impact others in your or their way of life. Paying attention to policy and law-making can be a big part of deciding who to vote for. Health care, judicial policies, laws, taxes, education, housing, and insurance are also factors. When you vote you are being a part of America’s democracy and society because that is what America is about. A large reason why immigrants come to the United States is for a government by the people for the people and that is what our democracy is and why you should be a part of it to contribute to our great country. Voting is a great way to show citizenship.

From contributing to the economy, being part of your community, choosing to vote, and or being a part of our democracy, there are many ways to show citizenship. Again, I believe the citizenship is a privilege, a choice, but also a responsibility because you are not the only living being here. Whatever way you show citizenship, it should be worthwhile because being citizen is a responsibility that not only affects you, but people around you and the people of our country.

Ayden Hall is a 13-year-old boy who lives in Spokane Washington with his immediate family, including his pet goose and duck. He wrote this because he was asked but also because he felt it was important and helpful. He also contributes to society buy selling comics and creating a podcast on Patreon as well as YouTube. You can visit www.nin’ (once it comes out) and AASGP on Patreon.