RCL #1- Definition of Civic

Civic is a word with many different meanings. In my opinion civic has two parts to it, getting involved for the sake of the community and getting involved for the sake of the individual. These two aspects may contradict each other sometimes, but other times they may line up perfectly.

First lets start with getting involved for the community as a whole. Being civic includes volunteering and showing patriotism. It means putting the country or community’s best interest before your own. Getting involved in the community either through volunteering or joining community organizations is a great way to lead a civic life. I believe that being civic by putting the community first is built into a person starting as a child. It is taught to them through their parents’ actions and through school. When parents or teachers teach children to be “good people” they are implanting the idea that it is important to participate and give back to the community and the people in it. Being civic also means listening to others and putting their thoughts into consideration, sometimes though it is important to listen to one’s own thoughts. Which brings me to the next part of being civic.

Getting involved in the community for one’s own interest. This way of being civic focuses more on one’s own needs. Speaking your needs and wants is important. This way of being civic allows a person to express different ways to improve their own life, and in turn probably improve the community as well. Fighting for what you believe and what is right, even though it may not be the popular belief, is also leading a civic life. Many people including, Martin Luther King Jr., are considered civic role-models even though their beliefs from the beginning were not the popular belief. While they were trying to improve their lives, they improved the community.

Both ways of being civic try to improve the community. Whether someone is trying to improve the community for the community itself or for themselves, as long as they are trying to improve the community they are being civic.

3 thoughts on “RCL #1- Definition of Civic

  1. Jack Delaney

    I agree with the idea that being civic starts at home and school. I always wonder if we are born with traits like that inherently, or if they are acquired. I feel that it is somewhat inherent in that you naturally want to belong to a community and thus will act in a civic manner for its improvement. But I believe it is definitely more instilled by your parents and peers at a young age. I am not sure if I consider patriotism an essential part of being civic. I think you can be civic without being patriotic. I also agreed with the part about Martin Luther King, Jr. I really like the idea that helping yourself also helps the community as a whole.

  2. rwp150

    I agree with you….I think the individual should benefit from doing their civic duty. It’s like in high school…I knew people who volunteered just so they could get National Honor Society hours to make their resumes look good. When you do that, you’re missing the point entirely and only engaging civilly to further your own selfish gains. But honestly, it does feel good to help other people and to be involved, in the community, the country, the world. It gives you a sense of identity and can make you realize how lucky you are to live the life you have. If you can forward your own needs/desires and those of your community/country/family/world, I think by all means that’s what we should all strive for.

  3. Ky McCool

    I really like the idea of the two separate parts of being civic, the getting involved for the community and getting involved for the sake of the individual. Before I read this post, I had always kind of thought of becoming civically engaged as putting yourself more or less to the wayside and doing what was right for people around you. But I really understood what you meant with civic role-models and how those people got involved for the sake of themselves and for the people who were in the same group as them. It was interesting to think about how getting involved for one’s own sake didn’t have to be entirely selfish. It wouldn’t just help yourself, it would help others like you and would help the community and beyond potentially grow and improve.

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