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* "We can never get a re-creation of community and heal our society without giving our citizens a sense of belonging."
-- Patch Adams

* "No one is born a good citizen; no nation is born a democracy. Rather, both are processes that continue to evolve over a lifetime. Young people must be included from birth. A society that cuts off from its youth severs its lifeline."
-- Kofi Annan

* ...let us remember the large numbers of citizens who, day in and day out, through acts of volunteerism large and small, bring hope to so many of the world's disadvantaged. Let us ensure that this wonderful resource, available in abundance to every nation, is recognized and supported as it works towards a more prosperous and peaceful world.
-- Kofi Annan

* "It is not always the same thing to be a good man and a good citizen."
-- Aristotle (384-322 BC)

...ordinary men and women may often feel unmotivated to exert their citizenship, either because they cannot tell the difference between the different alternatives, or because they have lost faith in the political classes, or because they feel that the really important issues are not in their power to decide.
-- Patricio Aylwin Azócar

* "Man is at the bottom an animal, midway, a citizen, and at the top, divine. But the climate of this world is such that few ripen at the top."
-- Henry Ward Beecher

The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their government.
-- William E. Borah

"Citizenship comes first today in our crowded world...No man can enjoy the privileges of education and thereafter with a clear conscience break his contract with society. To respect that contract is to be mature, to strengthen it is to be a good citizen, to do more than your share under it is noble."
-- Isaiah Bowman

"The most important office... that of private citizen."
Justice Louis D. Brandeis

"The only title in our democracy superior to that of President is the title of citizen."
Justice Louis D. Brandeis

* Democracy is not just a question of having a vote. It consists of strengthening each citizen’s possibility and capacity to participate in the deliberations involved in life in society.
-- Fernando Cardoso

* "Literacy is not a luxury, it is a right and a responsibility. If our world is to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century we must harness the energy and creativity of all our citizens."
- President Bill Clinton
* The old emphasis upon superficial differences that separate peoples must give way to education for citizenship in the human community.
-- Norman Cousins

* "...we all have an obligation as citizens of this earth to leave the world a healthier, cleaner, and better place for our children and future generations.”
~ Blythe Danner

* "I have no country to fight for: my country is the earth, and I am a citizen of the world."
-- Eugene V. Debs

"I realized that public affairs were also my affairs. I became active in politics because I saw the possibility, if we all sat back and did nothing, of a world in which there would no longer be any stages for actors to act on."
-- Helen Gahagan Douglas (1900-1980)

"A passive and ignorant citizenry will never create a sustainable world."
-- Andrew Gaines

I see religion as a powerful positive healing force for this nation and the world. But that force is blunted, weakened, compromised inestimably, if we turn religion into a tool for advancing political strategy; if we make it a matter of how to win political office; if we treat it as anything other than a sacred part of life from which we ought to draw sustenance and values and strength for living courageously as good citizens.
-- C. Welton Gaddy
* "Good government is no substitute for self-government."
-- Mohandas K. Gandhi

* "My country is the world;
my countrymen are mankind."

-- William Lloyd Garrison

"Which is the best government? That which teaches us to govern ourselves."
--Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"The job of a citizen is to keep his mouth open."
-- Gunter Grass

* Without free, self-respecting, and autonomous citizens there can be no free and independent nations. Without internal peace, that is, peace among citizens and between the citizens and the state, there can be no guarantee of external peace.
-- Vaclav Havel

"A generation that acquires knowledge without ever understanding how that knowledge can benefit the community is a generation that is not learning what it means to be citizens in a democracy."
-- Elizabeth L. Hollander (1817-1885)

"If you look back in history, you will find the core mission of public education in America was to create places of civic virtue for our children and for our society. As education undergoes the rigors of re-examination and the need for reinvention, it is cruicial to remember that the key role of public schools is to preserve democracy and, that as battered as we might be, our mission is central to the future of this county."
-- Paul D. Houston, Executive director of the American Association of School Administrators

* "Full democracy requires the full participation of women. Your voices are vital. The word 'vital' means necessary for life. A democracy, to be fully alive, must include all its citizens."
-- Swanee Hunt


"A community is like a ship; everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm."
-- Henrik Ibsen, Norwegian playwright (1828-1906)

* Since an informed citizenry is the basis for a healthy democracy, independent, non-corporate media are more crucial today than ever before
-- Dahr Jamail

* "A nation, as a society, forms a moral person, and every member of it is personally responsible for his society." -- Thomas Jefferson

"It is strangely absurd to suppose that a million of human beings, collected together, are not under the same moral laws which bind each of them separately." -- Thomas Jefferson

"The best principles of our republic secure to all its citizens a perfect equality of rights."
-- Thomas Jefferson

* "Ask not what your country can do for you…Ask what you can do for your country."
-- John F. Kennedy

"The efforts of the government alone will never be enough. In the end the people must choose and the people must help themselves."
-- John F. Kennedy

“What do I owe to my times, to my country, to my neighbors, to my friends? Such are the questions which a virtuous man ought often to ask himself.”
-- Johann Kaspar Lavater, German poet and physiognomist (1741-1801)

* "The American ideal is not that we all agree with each other, or even like each other, every minute of the day. It is rather that we will respect each other's rights, especially the right to be different, and that, at the end of the day, we will understand that we are one people, one country, and one community, and that our well-being is inextricably bound up with the well-being of each and every one of our fellow citizens."
-- C. Everett Koop

* As citizen-activists the world over merge, they can become an irresistible force to create peace and protect the planet. From here will come a new movement to abolish nuclear weapons and all weapons of mass destruction. From here will come the demand for sustainable communities, for new systems of energy, transportation and commerce. From here comes the future rushing in on us. How does one acquire the capacity for active citizenship? The opportunities exist every day...Active citizenship begins with an envisioning of the desired outcome and a conscious application of spiritual principles.
-- Dennis Kucinich

* Active citizenship begins with an envisioning of the desired outcome and a conscious application of spiritual principles.
-- Dennis Kucinich

"Our vision of interconnectedness resonates with new networks of world citizens in nongovernmental organizations linking from numberless centers of energy, expressing the emergence of a new organic whole, seeking unity within and across national lines... If governments and their leaders, bound by hierarchy and patriarchy, wedded to military might for legitimacy, fail to grasp the implications of an emerging world consciousness for cooperation, for peace and for sustainability, they may become irrelevant."
~ Dennis Kucinich

* We’ve come a long way, but we still have a distance to go before all of our citizens embrace the idea of a truly interracial democracy, what I like to call the Beloved Community, a nation at peace with itself.
-- John R. Lewis

* "Let us at all times remember that all American citizens are brothers of a common country, and should dwell together in bonds of fraternal feeling."
-- Abraham Lincoln

"Democracy is never a thing done. Democracy is always something that a nation must be doing."
-- Archibald MacLeish, American poet, public official (1892-1982)

* "Democracy is the most demanding of all forms of government in terms of the energy, imagination, and public spirit required of the individual."
-- George C. Marshall (1880-1959)

* Ensuring the access of all citizens to government information and to essential information for human development is a must for every democratic society.
-- Koïchiro Matsuura, UNESCO Director-General
* "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
-- Margaret Mead

* I remind myself of the power of thought and how it's my obligation as a citizen (and student) of humanity to propel compassion.
-- Alyssa Milano

* I remind myself of the power of thought and how it's my obligation as a citizen (and student) of humanity to propel compassion.
-- Alyssa Milano

* "The worth of the state, in the long run, is the worth of the individuals composing it."
-- John Stuart Mill

"If I knew something that would serve my country but would harm mankind, I would never reveal it; for I am a citizen of humanity first and by necessity, and a citizen of France second, and only by accident"
-- Charles de Montesquieu

"Neither democracy nor effective representation is possible until each participant in the group...devotes a measurable part of his life to furthering its existence."
-- Lewis Mumford, American social philosopher (1895-1990)

* There can be no daily democracy without daily citizenship.
-- Ralph Nader

Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.
-- George Jean Nathan

* "Citizenship consists in the service of the country"
-- Jawaharlal Nehru

"The most important thing an institution does is not to prepare a student for a career but for a life as a citizen."
-- Frank Newman

* I always believe that ultimately, if people are paying attention, then we get good government and good leadership. And when we get lazy, as a democracy and civically start taking shortcuts, then it results in bad government and politics.
-- Barack Obama

* "The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion."
-- Thomas Paine

The punishment which the wise suffer, who refuse to take part in government, is to live under the government of worse men.
-- Plato

"The Greek word for idiot, literally translated, means one who does not participate in politics. That sums up my conviction on the subject."
Gladys Pyle, Senator (1890-1989)

Full participation in government and society has been a basic right of the country symbolizing the full citizenship and equal protection of all.
-- Charles Rangel

"The government is us; we are the government, you and I."
-- Theodore Roosevelt

* "The first requisite of a good citizen in this republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his own weight."
-- Theodore Roosevelt

* Whatever system of governance is eventually adopted, it is important that it carries the people with it. We need to convey the message that safeguarding our common property, humankind, will require developing in each of us a new loyalty: a loyalty to mankind. It calls for the nurturing of a feeling of belonging to the human race. We have to become world citizens.
-- Joseph Rotblat

The acceptance of corporatism causes us to deny and undermine the legitimacy of the individual as citizen in a democracy. The result of such a denial is a growing imbalance which leads to our adoration of self-interest and our denial of the public good.
-- John Ralston Saul

* As global citizens, it is our responsibility to become active participants in our democracy, and to make sure that everyone's civil rights are protected.
-- Robert Alan Silverstein

Our goal is to create a world where citizens, communities, corporations and nations work together in a responsible way. Where decisions are not based on how much things cost or how much profit can be made, but on the value that it adds to the lives of our citizens and employees, and its impact on the environment. This sustainable life begins when we make our own lives more sustainable. -- Robert Alan Silverstein

"Democracy" is one of the most important principles for a better world. In its truest sense, a democracy is a community in which all members have an equal say in the running of that community. Unfortunately in reality, democratic societies have fallen short of this ideal. Nevertheless, because of its very nature, once a democracy is established, its citizens can work together to make their society more and more democratic, if they choose to do so.
-- Robert Alan Silverstein

* "As citizens of this democracy, you are the rulers and the ruled, the law-givers and the law-abiding, the beginning and the end."
-- Adlai Stevenson

"I am a citizen, not of Athens or Greece, but of the world"
-- Socrates

* Citizenship is what makes a republic -- monarchies can get along without it.
-- Mark Twain

* "Today, when the consequences of our actions (and inaction!) reach further into time and space than at any previous point in history, we more than ever need politically engaged citizens."
-- Jakob von Uexkull

* Our true nationality is mankind."
-- H.G. Wells

* As free citizens in a political democracy, we have a responsibility to be interested and involved in the affairs of the human community, be it at the local or the global level.
-- Paul Wellstone

* The constitution does not provide for first and second class citizens.
-- Wendell Wilkie

* The human heart is the first home of democracy. It is where we embrace our questions: Can we be equitable? Can we be generous? Can we listen with our whole beings, not just our minds, and offer our attention rather than our opinion? And do we have enough resolve in our hearts to act courageously, relentlessly, without giving up, trusting our fellow citizens to join us in our determined pursuit—a living democracy?
~ Terry Tempest Williams

* We are citizens of the world. The tragedy of our times is that we do not know this.
-- Woodrow Wilson


Citizenship Day - September 17




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DO ONE THING and BetterWorld Kids Clubs are projects of The EMILY Fund (The Emily Silverstein Fund, Inc.)
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