The meaning of Citizenship supersedes casual awareness that can be taken easily for granted. Citizenship goes beyond being born in a country, naturalization, rights, privileges and allegiance. Its meaning is one of the most significant reasons why education is required and why life-long learning is encouraged. Its ethos is literacy connected and determines the quality of our lives. It is our protection for the respect and validation of life itself. Yes, citizenship goes far beyond any civic’s class and political party.
Its meaning is determined by each of us as we see ourselves and each other. Do we think of ourselves as citizens of a region of the country, a state or do we, as human beings, see ourselves as citizens of a world beyond flags and borders. We can do both without compromising our oath to our country and to each other as Americans. This is why, when needed, we take up arms to defend others far from our borders – to defend their humanity.
Citizenship is not only learned in schools but also by lessons taught by ancestors, family, mentors who teach the universality of its meaning – its connections to next door neighbors and those across town, states and across oceans. Citizenship comes with the responsibility to seek veracity and credibility socially, culturally and politically in our institutions and pursue the truth as fellow citizens.
Citizenship is not static but dynamic based on an ongoing critical review of history, its association to democracy, social justice, rule of law, inclusivity, equity and the inalienable rights declared and affirmed by the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights. Citizenship is ever morphing including segments of society – fellow citizens that have been made invisible and/or voiceless.
With each incoming generation, Citizenship advocates for the authentication and amplification of civil norms and principles as they pertain to collaborations and responsibilities to enhance the quality of life of all current and future citizens. Citizenship encourages civil discourse and debate in order to arrive at compromise and concensus for the greater good.
Citizenship provides an empathic voice to those who immigrate seeking asylum, sanctuary, protections and opportunities of worth. Citizenship is magnanimous and directly connected and intertwined in our Democracy by our venerated right to vote and by making voting available to others. Citizenship is worthy of our daily awareness and recognition of its essence.
Republican Trumpism ~ By Any Other Name ~ Inhuman
“Words like ‘freedom,’ ‘justice,’ ‘democracy’ are not common concepts; on the contrary, they are rare. People are not born knowing what these are. It takes enormous and, above all, individual effort to arrive at the respect for other people that these words imply.”
Engaging in the “White on White Conversation” on Racism and Hate ~ The Choice ~ The Willingness ~ The Readiness ~ The Work
Why the hesitation by white people to engage with white people in difficult and uncomfortable discourse on racism and hate?
Some would argue that the reasons are due to the “teflon effect”, “cognitive dissonance”, “white fragility”, “fear” and a lack of knowledge.
“White on White” conversations can become contentious, uncomfortable and question social-cultural loyalties.
But we are in the 21st century and “White on White” conversations are taking place by choice, with emotional intelligence and moral courage.
Inclusive generational alliances are in motion and a reality.
Voter Risk Management ~ Conscious Conscientiousness to Enhance the Quality of Life for All
It was 1869 when African American men were allowed to vote.
It was 1929 when women were finally acknowledged as voters.
It was 1965, just 58 years ago, when the Voting Rights Act attempted to end voting discrimination.
It’s the 21st Century and voter suppression remains a reality by politicians who promote obstruction, denialism, division, Big-Little Lies and extremism.
A democracy requires citizens who vote keeping in mind our history, casting their ballot with due diligence, emotional intelligence and moral courage.
Civic duty, in the 21st century, requires risk management as to authenticity, credibility and trust.
Who are the candidates that will enhance the quality of our Democracy and the quality of our lives?
Ethnographic Citizenry ~ Able to Observe Diversity and Embrace It
The Zulu greeting of “Sawubona” means “I see you.”
These are more than words of politeness.
Sawubona carries the importance of recognizing the worth and dignity of each person.
It says, “I see the whole of you—your experiences, your passions, your pain, your strengths and weaknesses, and your future. You are valuable to me.”
Sawubona is also infused with the belief that when others “see” me, then I exist.
The common response is “Shiboka”, which means “I exist for you”.
These are more than greetings.
Awareness and observation go far beyond looking and seeing – a matter of validating presence.
Citizenship ~ Essence, Meaning and Context
When, how and why do we learn about our citizenship?
Is it an absolute construct?
Is it ever morphing, authenticating and amplifying its essence, meaning and context?
Is it all about privileges or does it come with life-long responsibilities?
Is it regional, national and/or global?
Does it seek veracity and credibility?
These are some tough critical questions that perhaps need review – more often than just every two or four years.
Diversity and Athletics as Fans and Citizens
Athletics and sports are part of our social-cultural matrix. They are our communal national passion. We love our sports and marvel at human athleticism.
Can we, connect our fanaticism with athletics to our responsibilities to our Democracy as citizens?
Can we turn March Madness to a daily passion to enhance the quality of life, inclusivity and equity for each fan and citizen?
History beckons us to do so.