Somalilandsun-Civic sense, or rather the lack of it, is a topic that has been widely discussed and argued in Somaliland. Somehow, most Somalilanders do not care much for civic sense. And this attitude is prevalent across all sections of society. People today are so driven towards their personal goals that civic sense as an ethic has become a low priority, almost a nuisance.
But this attitude could be harmful for India in the long run. Civic sense has dropped to an all-time low in recent years, as is rather obvious from the current state of society. Let’s see what people and specifically parents can do to curb this downswing.
What is Civic Sense?
Civic sense is nothing but a common sense in general. It means that that our behavior at certain places and in certain walks of life shouldn’t create problems for others. In other words our behavior should be what is expected from a civilized society. Civic sense is nothing but social ethics. It is consideration by the people for the unspoken norms of society. A lot of people assume that civic sense is just about keeping the roads, streets and public property clean. But civic sense is more than that; it has to do with law-abiding, respect for fellow men and maintaining decorum in public places. A lot of foreign countries function in a smooth manner because of the strong civic sense amongst its people.
With the exception of a every view oral lessons in school, not a lot of attention is given to civic behavior. Schools and homes do not teach their children about the importance of civic sense and how it could make a difference to the country as well as the quality of their lives. Let’s see why civic sense is so important.
Separatism, vandalism, intolerance, racism, road rage etc. are all examples of lack of civic sense. People are becoming less and less tolerant of each other, of other’s cultures, backgrounds, and other similar traits. In Somaliland fortunately has not really diverse people and the need of the hour is general civic sense. It is not uncommon to read or hear about communal friction. Even living in the city has become difficult because people have no consideration whatsoever for fellow city-dwellers
When civic sense is absent in a society, it leads to a lot of problems. Disregard for the law is a primary cause for lacking civic sense. A person who has high civic values does not resort to shortcuts and unethical tactics to get his work done. And being unethical in daily activities does not benefit anyone, as the behaviour only gets emulated by other members of society. Ultimately, the situation will reach a point where hardly anything can be done to restore it.
For example, being inconsiderate towards fellow society members will only come right back at you. You have to be social, mature and unbiased when it comes to situations in public. The current state of public property , for example, is disheartening. And we have no one to blame but ourselves for this condition.
Where do lack civic sense?
There are spit marks, urine, vulgar graffiti, random garbage and overflowing sewers at every nook and corner of India. NO city in this country has managed to fight the menace. It is easy to pin everything on the government, but people must first question themselves and their own
civic sense. Roads are not dirty because nobody cleaned it, but because somebody dirtied it in the first place Our countrymen lack civic sense at almost every place but roads and public places are favourite spots. Traffic conditions have been worsening in somaliland in not only big cities but many other small cities. But even then the huge number of road accidents and incidents of road rage can’t be attributed to this fact. The apparent lack of civic sense is the major reason behind it. Most of the people do not drive keeping other drivers in mind. They view the road as a race track and other vehicles as either obstructions or mere spectators. Rash driving has killed many people in somaliland in past few years. Add to it blatant ignorance of the safety measures as well as traffic rules and you get a complete picture of the sorry state of the civic sense of the people on roads. In the smaller cities drivers do not care a dime for safety equipment’s like helmets and seat belts.
How can you teach Your Child about Civic Sense?
When you when you teach your child about civic sense, you also teach him about civic responsibility. Children need to be taught civic sense early because unlike a specific skill, civic sense is a school of thought in itself. It is belief in hygiene, respect for other members of society, and humane behaviour.
So how do you go about teaching your child civic sense? Begin by teaching him to keep his immediate surroundings clean and tidy. If he learns to appreciate cleanness he will be able to practice it outside of home as well. Explain to him that just because other people dirty their surroundings does not mean he should too.
Encourage him to mix with people from different backgrounds and not harbour prejudice against them. India is a mix of a variety of people and patience and tolerance in your child will make him more accepted and respected.
With such small steps you can teach your child about civic sense and the importance of it in his life. And by teaching your child about civic sense, you are not only making him a better human being but also doing your bit for the future of the country
A freedom without discipline leads to disorder. Our freedom fighters wouldn’t have imagined that the people would so soon forget their sacrifices and care the least about the places of their own country. The public places, whether it is a park, a zoo, a bus stand and even roads, become the worst victims of the lack of civic sense. Irrespective of the class of the society they belong to, people tend to throw garbage on the road, spill waste water, spit on it and treat it as a place owned by them. We often question the administration on the issue of the garbage and dirt in the various corners of the city, but fail to remember our role in keeping the city clean. We try to keep only our houses clean and care least about the others. We don’t even make use of the garbage bins to dispose of the garbage.
Finally civic sense is not something that you learn or can make someone learn in a single day. It takes time and should begin at one’s home only. We should not wait for our kids’ school teachers’ to impart them the basics of civic sense. Instead, we ourselves should serve as an example in front of our kids. Then only the society can improve.
By: Abdisalaan Ahmed