Individuals limp through their lives in pursuit of survival. They aimlessly meander. Citizenship gives them a place to go, and a bus to ride on. The bus travels in the direction that the citizens will it to go, but at a more leisure speed than they desire.

People are thought of as good citizens if, as individuals, they are competent and kind. Those are positive individual traits, but citizenship requires the transfer of those traits to the group, but the group is tempted to speed because they are insensitive to the personal pain suffered when the careening bus snuffs the life, or the hope, out of those riding, or those who are in its way. Citizens enjoy immense group and individual benefits from the bus ride, but their actions influence the direction the bus travels, the safety of each of its passengers, and those who aren’t riding.

Citizenship on the bus is not a democracy. Each traveler must commit to opportunely help all of the rest, especially the vulnerable, or the bus will leave the road. The young, the ill, and the aged have a special gift, an understanding of thanksgiving, that escapes the sophisticated, who lord over others. Those who view themselves as more independent tend to believe that their health, strength, and talent are for the purpose of crudely pursuing personal opportunities that counter public responsibility. Helping only the majority, accelerates the bus to unsafe speeds. A vote to endanger, harm, or ignore even one passenger, diminishes everyone, because the road that the bus travels on is paved with compassion laid on a compacted bed of trust.

Tears are shed as each kind passenger leaves the bus, after a lifetime of service. There is joy and laughter as another passenger boards. As the bus slows to let off one passenger, or pick up another, other busses silently pass, each one is encased in the warm glow of peace.


80 thoughts on “Citizenship”

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