My Responsibility to America

November 21, 2016
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Responsibility is defined as “the state or fact of being responsible, answerable, or accountable for something within one’s power, control, or management”. When I think of my responsibility to America, I immediately think of being an informed citizen, voting, and paying taxes. Secondly I think of our responsibility to defend America and our duty to honor and acknowledge those who defend our freedoms on a day-to-day basis. We claim that we are “proud to be American”, yet sometimes we aren’t accountable for defending our country’s foundational beliefs, values, or the people who physically fight for the right to hold those beliefs. There are ethical or moral obligations that include citizenship and integrity to the system that we must fight for in addition to being informed and accountable for voting and paying taxes.We call all peoples in our country “Americans”, but we fight with one another and have no unity.  My responsibility to America is to not only fulfill my duties as an American citizen, but also to be accountable for upholding our country’s ideals.

Being informed on matters concerning America is a civic duty that we, as Americans, have. It might not seem important, but many people aren’t informed on current events taking place in our country today. Although it isn’t required, we should be held accountable for understanding matters concerning our country - and for voting accordingly. I remember being in elementary school and hearing my parents talk about politics and elections, and dreading the day I would be able to vote. I couldn’t comprehend why my parents voted for someone to “rule” over where we lived. I swore I wouldn’t vote because I thought it was pointless. I thought that my vote wouldn’t matter because I was only one person in a country filled with millions of other people. I didn’t care about defending my country because I didn’t understand everything veterans had done to keep Americans safe. I was not aware of the issues in America. I figured that one person couldn’t make a difference in any political election or have any influence over what happens in America. Since then, however, I have learned that it is possible to make a difference. By keeping yourself informed, you can vote for elected officials to make the decisions in line with American beliefs and uphold the values we hold true.

Our responsibilities to America are sometimes required by law like being answerable to legislative policies or laws. There are certain duties Americans have such as paying taxes, abiding by laws, attending school until you reach a certain age, etc. Americans have to fulfill their duties because it is the law, and they can’t get out of it. To compare duties to responsibilities, I would compare doing your chores(responsibilities) to doing your homework(duties). Although you are not required to do your chores (for some), it is implied that you should do them because it would be the ethical approach. Homework on the other hand, is often taken up for a grade. If you don’t do your homework, you might get a bad grade which will in turn hurt your grade in the class, and you may fail. Similarly to chores and homework, if Americans don’t do their duties, they will face consequences. Both are equally important to society and how it functions.

What does it mean to “be American”? Now that I have grown, and understand more, it seems like a foreign concept for people not to take pride in where they come from -  their roots. I understand that not everyone in America was born here, but people decided to move here. Therefore, if you live in our country, you should take pride in that. I know some people don’t believe in fighting for our country and believe it doesn’t solve anything, but they don’t understand how much sacrifice was made for many of the freedoms we have today. I know personally, I am proud to be American. Our country may have issues sometimes with different politicians believing differently on certain topics, but we have more freedom than most other countries. We help our neighbors, even if it means neighboring states that need help. If a few states have a natural disaster, we offer help and supplies for them and try to help them get back on their feet. If something happens in our community and someone needs help, we extend a helping hand to meet their need. Being an American doesn’t mean we have to agree with everything that is happening in our country, but we should respect it.

In conclusion, being American isn’t just fulfilling your duties and responsibilities. You have to take pride in your country. We live in a country where we have rights other countries don’t have. We need to quit blaming others for why the senator or president we wanted didn’t win the election if we didn’t vote. We need to honor those who fought for our country and our rights because if they didn’t we wouldn’t have freedoms that we enjoy. Who knows where we would have ended up without someone fighting for our rights? There may be things we are required to do that we don’t agree with or don’t enjoy such as paying taxes, but it could be a lot worse. My responsibility to America is not only to fulfill my civic duty as an American, but to know my responsibilities as a citizen, and have pride in the country that has given freely to me

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