If you are born in a country, you do end becoming a citizen of that country by virtue of your birth status. But citizenship as the way I see it, is more evolved than just birth status and sometimes goes beyond the narrow confines of nationalism. Of course I love my country, but then I love the world too and so also civilization and its preservation. Citizenship to me is something more godly, more spiritual and it comes from being one with the world and its denizens.
Growing up in a particular country also implies growing up with its biases , injustices, inefficiencies inequalities, and poverty. People experience it first hand and it also gets honed and cemented through reading, viewing and discussions. In my case, since I was teaching economics and its implications, I was slightly more exposed of it through articles, data and information that came into my inbox through human and electronic interfaces. Slowly it started hitting hard and it starting hurting as to why am I part of it, but still not doing something about it.
Everyone earns a living and it is important for basic survival and happiness, but can you earn a living and still practice citizenship. Are they ways that you can contribute besides just going to attend neighborly events, weddings, parties, religious gatherings as a social and political animal. Everyone does something meaningful every day of their lives, except only their vision, scale and commitment levels may differ.
What if you had to really convert the meaningful involvement into a significant citizenship quotient that could bring change. How do you do that is a question that requires a great deal of thought. For a critical mass to practice citizenship on a more evolved level, they need understanding, space, time, and even at times resources to devote. Unfortunately society is wired in a way that revolves around at daily routines, earning a living, some entertainment and family topped with a bit of ego boosting. In a way, policy makers, government, society mores also do their bit in perpetuating lifestyles and values that ends must making life more like a roller coaster rather than something that is deeply meaningful, altruistic and balanced.
Obviously in our own ways, a lot of us are trying to bring change in mindsets, attitudes and the lens with which we view life. I am trying to do the same and therefore my journey from citizen to citizenship is also evolving. At times it is spiritual, sometimes reflective and sometimes replete with tongue in cheek humor. Bear with me, together you and I just might end up getting somewhere.