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Citizenship is something that you live

The traversing of our country by the Olympic Torch en route to the Olympic Games in London next month has given rise to many photo opportunities, much coverage on TV and on-line and many pages of newspaper articles discussing the events.

One article which I read in Scotland on Sunday last weekend contained a phrase which has been echoing in my head ever since:

Citizenship north of the Border is “all-pervasive – it’s not just something that you learn about, it’s something that you live.” – said Henry Maitles, Professor of Education at the University of the West of Scotland.

Let’s just repeat that for emphasis,

Citizenship is something that you live.

I’ve been travelling around East Central Scotland a little these past few weeks, talking to organisers of various festivals and events about building communities around their events – using social media tools to forge connections which will survive via on-line means far beyond the confines of the days or weeks of the events themselves.

But it’s a great challenge for these events to attract sufficient volunteers to support the events, and often I hear the complaint that those on committees are very good at turning up and saying “we really should do…x” and then doing nothing themselves until the next meeting when they turn up and contribute more hot air to the discussion.

So the few volunteers who do more than just talk, but take practical actions, end up with an even greater workload to ensure that the event is a success.

Do you believe that citizenship is something that you live?

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