Are you a good citizen? Whether you’re living on your country of origin or living abroad, will you be considered a good citizen?Yesterday my son asked me for a private talk. Terminating his IB education and receiving his diploma, he’s considering his options for college studies locally and abroad. While speaking, I was hit by a sentence in his speech: “Dad is okay that I study abroad if I get accepted in a top university. But I am not sure. Do I pick this choice or I study here and continue in the research field aiming to do a remarkable contribution for my country?”
At the age of eighteen, I wasn’t thinking neither of ‘contribution‘ nor of ‘my country‘. Now, my son at eighteen is having big talks.
His words provoked me to reflect, how did my son developed this sense of contribution and social responsibility? I figured out 5 factors that shaped his thinking in this way:
1- Role modelling.
Though we rarely talk about how we love our country in front of our kids, we act it out by default. As parents, we try to work hard, to contribute, to educate, to inspire others especially that we both work in the field of education.
2- Attitudes and talks.
Though we face daily problems with traffic, with pollution, with undisciplined people..etc We refuse to act like victims. When faced with a problem we change it if we can or we accept it and deal with it if we can’t change it. We don’t poison our children’s brains by complaining from our country. We teach them to be proactive.
Which I consider one of the best strategies to embed values in children. We used to share stories of his grandparent who was an effective contributor. We shared stories of Egyptians who were great honours for their country in different fields.
4- Personal Contribution.
Though he still receive his allowance, he was taught to share a little amount of it for cancer children on monthly basis. When hearing about severe cases or people in bad need, I ask him to share an amount from his savings.
5- Educational system.
Be selective and choose while having an end in mind. As an IB student, my son was involved in community and service projects from year 6 till year 12. He went out to the world, investigating community needs and serving the less fortunate. He got exposed to the real world at young age. Moreover, the education preserved his sense of identity. Though it’s an international education, yet the IBO philosophy is clear about promoting open mindedness while preserving one’s identity.
Are you a plus or a minus for the community you live in? Will you be considered a role model for a good citizen?