Citizenship: Character trait for July

July 10, 2013 

“My fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” – President John F. Kennedy

What better month to ponder citizenship than July, when our nation comes together to celebrate independence, freedom and our great United States of America. We are reminded of how fortunate we are to be citizens of this country and the many rights and responsibilities that come along with citizenship.

Citizenship is a character trait of showing allegiance to one’s country, as well as actively and responsibly participating in one’s community. As we celebrate our allegiance to our country, let’s also think about what it means to be a citizen of Lee’s Summit.

Amazing displays of citizenship can be witnessed each and every day right here in our own backyards from people who give of their time and talents to make Lee’s Summit a better place. From city commissions to social service charities, citizens of Lee’s Summit understand that “to give is to receive.” There is a true sense that each and every person can make a difference, and this is evident in the pride Lee’s Summit residents have for the community and in their willingness to serve.

Working for Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street, I am fortunate to work with volunteers who love our historic downtown Lee’s Summit area. They believe downtown is the heart of the community, and they want to preserve it and enhance its vibrancy for all to enjoy. Some of our volunteers enjoy throwing a party for thousands of people, so they join our Downtown Days committee; others want to enrich the downtown and expose people to the beauty of the cultural arts, so they join the Cultural Arts Committee; and still others find volunteer opportunities with our organization year-round. I’m humbled by our volunteers, who give so much of themselves to make our community better.

As you set off fireworks and gather for backyard barbeques, also think about citizenship and how you can serve your community.

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

-Mahatma Gandhi

Sarah Shore is on the Lee’s Summit CARES Character Council and is a Lee’s Summit resident

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