National and Personal Well-being Is Tremendously Improved with Civic Duty
If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself, or so the saying goes. And it is true. Just look at us right now! Most of us are living under various representative forms of government where we elect a handful of people in which we then place all of our hopes for a better future.
But in today’s world, where we have all this technology, education and free time like never before, this no longer seems like the best idea. Sure, there is someone whose sole business is to work on our behalf and makes sure that our interests are being taken cared of. But as it so happens, most often than not, if our interests don’t coincide with theirs, we usually end up drawing the short end of the stick.
When it comes to a representative form of government, corruption is a big problem in most cases. And there is a strong correlation between how much ordinary, everyday citizens are involved in the well-being of their community and the level of corruption. In short, the higher the level of civic duty people have, the lower the level of corruption. Why?
Well, corruption in its simplified form works by paying off that representative in the detriment of the whole community that he speaks for. This, of course, happens behind closed doors and usually, people are none the wiser. But if people were genuinely involved in the well-being of their communities, these sorts of activities couldn’t go unnoticed and thus, corruption would go down.
We see this trend taking place predominantly in the Nordic Countries like Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland. These countries, among others, seem to have a genuine interest in the well-being of their citizens. But this interest stems from an increased sense of civic duty, of belonging, and collective responsibility most of the citizens have.
Let’s take Denmark for example. It ranked as the least corrupt country in the world in 2015 because of this. In 2006, the country had a whopping 101,000 NGOs to a population of just 5.5 million people. The Danes have a high rate of volunteerism which made up some 35.3 billion Danish krone (DKK) or 9.6 percent of the country’s entire GDP. This high level of involvement and genuine interest in their own country can also be seen when they go to vote. During their elections in 2011, 87.7 percent of the population cast their opinion; something not many countries can pride themselves with.
Civic Duty is not all about corruption, though
There are other benefits to having a high sense of civic duty, other than stopping corruption. When you’re actively involved in the well-being of your community, you can see the positive results right in front of your eyes. Acting upon the things that otherwise would be an inconvenience will not only solve them but will also give you a powerful sense of accomplishment. Frankly, anything is better than complaining about how nothing gets done, all the while you’re on the couch watching TV.
But to be fair, though, not all countries have the budget to solve their problems like Denmark does. But just like the Danes, coming together as a community and solving your local problems will undoubtedly solve them. Not to mention the fact that it will bring you all closer together to form a more friendly and tightly knit neighbourhood. It might seem daunting at first, especially if you’re not used to seeing this in your community, but you can always be the first and then lead by example. You would be surprised of just how many people feel the same as you but don’t say it.