What does one have to do to be a good citizen? While the answer will vary from society to society let us focus on what an average good citizen looks like in a random capitalistic society. The average stereotype would be one working full-time, has 2-3 children and goes shopping every Saturday. Already from the age of 1 year, the good citizen spends most of the time outside the home starting from kindergarten, then school after which s (he) continues through to university studies and then enters a full-time position. It’s all set and all you have to do to is to follow the formula and voilà a new good citizen is born. Or is it?
A few specifications are necessary. A good citizen spends half a day every Saturday in a shopping centre – an important contribution to keep up a healthy market economy. A good citizen helps in this way to support the national economy and thereby supporting the common good. In terms of work, it is not so important what the good citizen works with. What counts is the generation of income that provides the state enough taxes to keep up public services – kindergartens, elderly homes, hospital, infrastructure and so on. Elderly homes are particularly important as we do not have time to take care of our elderly ourselves. Never mind life quality. It comes as part and parcel of being a good citizen.
However, what we do know is that sometimes, being a good citizen can affect ones health. Some get exhausted, while others get back-problems. Many are unfortunate to catch serious diseases, many of which we owe due to our lifestyles – the very essence of being a good citizen. But don’t worry. There is plenty of advice as to how to deal with it all. If suffering from back problems, change sitting position, but do not get out of the office chair. High cholesterol and over-weight? Diet pills will solve the problem for you.
Does being a good citizen mean to be helpful, kind, sharing and caring anymore? We are not sure. While we should have more time due to technological innovations and flexible work hours, we nevertheless seem busier than ever. This too forms part of being a good citizen. Be good, be busy. We work more, we earn more, we spend more but not necessarily on things we need but on things we do not need. By investing the full capacity of our hearts and minds – yes even our soul in work, we undermine the importance of life itself. We do not have time. Being a good citizen is a full-time job. PS. We forgot to mention that as a good citizen you should still be paying off your student loan at the age of 50.