Self-Assessment: Are You a Good Citizen?

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Being a good citizen in your community has a lot of value, not only for you but for the people you interact with on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Consider the questions below to determine whether you’re a good neighbor and what you can do to become a contributing citizen where you live.

1. What efforts do you make to improve your community? Do you contribute in some positive and constructive way to the lives of others? Set a goal to positively impact the life of one person – every day, week, month, or whatever interval seems do-able for you at first. Whenever you hit that goal, renew it – and perhaps challenge yourself by increasing the frequency of your actions. Making a positive difference will soon become a wondrous part of your daily life.

2. Do you participate in community events or charity drives? Taking part in the special celebrations of your community is an excellent way to be a good citizen. It’s a great way to be hands-on and make a positive impact.

3. Do you help others learn about your area or neighborhood? When you’re out and about, step in to help others, answer a question about the community, or recommend a business that does a fine job at serving its customers. Take part in random conversations at the grocery store and offer tips or guidance about the community. Consider reaching out to organizations that serve newcomers, and you can become a community resource, thereby boosting your value and your self-confidence.

4. What do you know about your community? Make it a point to try to learn everything there is to learn about the place where you live. Know the hidden restaurants that serve homemade soups or the shoe repair shop that will replace your heels inexpensively. The more you know, the more valuable you become, and the better you will feel about yourself.

5. How do you stay informed about what’s going on in your city? Subscribing to the local newspaper will keep you abreast of events throughout the city.

* If you’re a business owner, join your local Chamber of Commerce to stay in touch.
* Stop in to your neighborhood coffee shop on Saturday mornings to find out the latest buzz.

6. How do you feel about your local authorities – police, fire department, and school personnel? When you show respect for the members of your community who take care of its citizens, you set a great example, and can encourage others to do the same. Public service professionals do a better job of working with the community they serve when lines of communication are open and used often.

* In supporting your local authorities, you’ll make helpful contacts and be a better neighbor should an emergency situation arise.

7. How well do you obey the laws? You can make your community safer and stronger by following the laws and being a role model for other citizens, young and old alike.

8. What does a “good neighbor” do? Would you consider yourself a good neighbor? If you’re willing to help those who live close to you and frequently offer a helping hand, you’re probably a great neighbor.

* Take part in your neighborhood watch program.
* Sweep off the porch of an elderly neighbor.
* Bring fresh flowers and a home-cooked meal with you to visit a shut-in.

9. What types of volunteer work do you do? Put your skills to good use. Your community offers many opportunities for you to step up and offer assistance.

* Spend 2 hours a week at a nursing home delivering reading material to the residents, and you could even volunteer to read to residents with sight challenges.
* Join a clean-up project to keep a local highway or neighborhood litter-free, and ask a neighbor to join you.
* Help out at the local library.
* Offer to answer phones or do bulk mailings for a social services agency.

10. Do you vote? Let your voice be heard! Vote in every election, and you may also find volunteer or paid opportunities at local polling places or the Registrar of Voters’ office.

Endeavor to be a contributing member in your community. Others will benefit greatly. Plus, getting involved will open doors for you, too, as it enriches your life.