Life Skills Development/Module Two/Maintaining Good Interpersonal Relationships in the Community - Citizenship

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Unit 4: Citizenship


Being a good citizen refers to generally maintaining good human relationships in your community and the society at large. The foundation for good social conduct start at home when you maintain healthy relationships with your family at home as discussed in unit one of this module. There are certain characteristics that one has to maintain in order to be regarded as a good citizen. This unit will therefore discuss the characteristics that a good citizen should possess in order to develop into a fully-fledged, responsible adult.

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Upon completion of this unit you will be able to:

  • Develop skills to form a foundation of good social conduct in the society.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the rights and responsibilities of citizens as members of a community.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how relationships can be affected by personal biases and prejudices.

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  • Social conduct -
  • fully-fledged -
  • loyalty -
  • A.W.O.L. - Absent without official leave

Qualities of a Good Citizen

Let us look at the the requirements of citizenship and in the process examine if we possess such. If we posssess such qualities, we should not find it difficult to take up our responsibilities in life as mature citizens. If we do not have the qualities of good citizens, then we do have a bit of a problem and we should reflect on this unit and decide on what we shall do to improve our perceptions and understanding of our responsibilities in the society.

Let us now look at the requirements of citizenship.


We need to keep our bodies clean all the time. Hands and nails are the most used parts on our bodies as they touch people and at the same time we use them to eat. Brushing our teeth three times a day is a indispensable requirement. Cleaning our houses and our surroundings leads to a clean country and that makes people around us comfortable. In addition we earn respect from our visitors.


Punctuality is a norm that shows that a person is responsible and accountable. Being on time for meetings, events, and appointments signifies seriousness in the business world. You should not be the one who is always late for work or meetings. Always ensure that you prepare events at your earliest possible time. You should never leave an event until the last minute.


You should be a reliable person. Able to keep promises. Letting people down is a very bad reflection on your character. Moreover, cheating at work will do you no good. If you think you are smarter than other people or you think you have monopoly of wisdom, you may fool yourself. "Two heads are better than one."


To be loyal is a necessary trait though not easy to practice. Many a time people would try not to complain about their employers to strangers. They settle their disputes in-house. That is the same practice when we have disputes with our parents. We sort disputes with our parents and husbads at home, not in public. You may not want to gossip about your parents, husband or employers. The best practice is to sort your issues out amicably and be loyal to your family and your employers.


Not everybody knows how to work smoothly in a a team, but collabortive work has been accredited by many studies that it produce quality work. The course you are going thorugh now has beed designed and developed through co-operation. Many countries came toghethter to develop this course and you can also contribute to start up sopmething new or to add to hwat you think has been left out. It is therefore necessary to be able to learn how to work in teams for a good course and how to get involved in team building execercises at work or in community based services.


When you were a baby, your parents were responsible to make sure you do not burn or play with dangerous objects. They responsibly took care of you. After a certain age depending on your country's criteria, you become responsible and accountable for you life. You are expected to play certain roles and do certain duties as required in the society. You need to do a lot of thinking, look for relevant and necessary information to make important decisions in your life. The Life Skills Course is one of the things you need in life for personal development. You have authority in life, but authority goes with responsibility and accountability. Be a responsible and accountable person!


|I never get out of control when angry." || || |- |I am not influenced by other people to do things I think are worng.|| || |- |I control my temper.|| || |- |I do not make comments or criticise others before knowing the facts. || || |-

Willingness to Serve

The good think to do now is to ask yourself if you have any responsibilites in your community. Do you often volunteer for community services? Do you do anything for people that need your help in the society? If you are willing to serve, that adds to your qualities of a good citizen.

The Right Use of Public Property

We all have rights to use public properties. However, people have a tendency to mess with the environment. They litter bottles, cans, wrapping papers in public places! What would you do when you see somebody doing the following:

  • Illegally writing on public walls or doors,
  • Tearing out pages from public library books.
  • Leaving a toilet without flushing after use.

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You will need to respond to the table below for this activity. This table will help you to reflect on your qualities. After completing the table, you will be able to consider where you need to improve. Give it a try!

Self Analysis on Qualities of Good Citizenship
Characteristics TRUE FALSE
My hands and nails are always clean.
I brush my teeth everyday.
I take a bath regularly.
I clean my house everyday.
I am seldom late to work/meetings.
I prepare my events at the earliest possible time.
I never leave for an event for the very last moment.
I always show up at a meeting if I have promised to be there
I hardly break a promise.
I never let people down by not doing somethig I have undertaken.
I never like to be A.W.O.L. from work.
I never complain about my employer to strangers.
I settle my disputes with my parents in private, never in public.
I never gossip about my husband/wife.
I stand up for the good name of my employer all the times.
I like to work in a team for a good course.
I particpate in at least one retreat per year in my workplace.
I regularly attend team-building exercises in which my employers are involved.
I am always involved in community based projects or services.
I do my duties and roles as required.
I do a considerable amount of extra work in whatever I am doing.
I give a lot of thinking to the choices of decisions I make.
I take Life Skills training very seriously.
I never get out of control when I am angry.
I am not influenced by other people to do things I think are wrong.
I control my temper.
I do not make comments or criticise others before knowing the facts.
Willingness to Serve
I am always willing to do community service in my society.
I often volunteer my services when something has to be done for the community.
I belong to a community based organisation (CBO's) for the benefit of needy children.
The Right Use of Public Property
I never litter bottles, cans, wrapping papers in public places.
I do not support writing on public walls or doors.
I do not condone tearing out pages from public library books.
I always flush the toilet after use.


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You know the qualities that are lacking in most of your country fellows. Write an essay identifying what is lacking from most of the citizens of your country and suggest what should be done so that they can become healthy, fully-fledged adults, and good citizens.


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In this unit you have been directed to consider qualities of good citizenship on the following:

  • Cleanliness
  • Punctuality
  • Loyalty
  • Co-operation
  • Responsibility
  • Self-Control
  • Willingness to serve
  • The right use of public property


Engelbercth, G. Fourie, A.B. and Von Mollendorf, J. (1982). Active Guidance Std 7. Cape Town: De Jager-Haum Publishers.ISBN 0 7986 0787 4

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