What it means to be a citizen

Posted by on September 1, 2015 • 2 minute read


A citizen is one who is willing to be accountable for and committed to the well-being of the whole”, Peter Block. What does that mean for me? Is the well being of the whole up to me? Really? That is a seriously big responsibility. One that on first glance I think I would prefer to run from. Hide from. Put blinkers on and defer to my august leaders for. They can look after the whole, isn’t that their job? Isn’t that why I put them into power? Isn’t that why I love to point fingers at them and moan and blame them for not doing their job?

A citizen is one who produces the future, someone who does not wait, beg, or dream for the future

‘Them’, that word of otherness. But then I would be giving away my power. I would be letting others decide on my future for me. That I will do no more. Okay, so if not them, then me. I am still wondering, though, how do I be accountable and committed to the well-being of the whole? What will it take? Do I have to throw money at every beggar on every street corner? Buy a broom every time the intercom buzzes? The ‘whole’ means education and jobs. It means safety and houses, and food and care and love. It all feels too large and overwhelming.

Peter Block reminds us: ” A citizen is one who produces the future, someone who does not wait, beg, or dream for the future.” How do I do this? How do I go about producing the future? I really want to know. I have children who need to live in this country. They don’t have to but it would be nice if they could. It would be wonderful if they could find a way to be part of this country’s future.

I hope to be closer to the answer soon. Tomorrow I attend a wonderful workshop called: Learning the Art of Community Building. Stay tuned, I may have some interesting insights to share.


About Chantal Dawtrey

Chantal Dawtrey is the founder and owner of CDC Chantal Dawtrey Consultants.

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