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.