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How To be a Good Son/Daughter, Student and a Citizen

Updated on October 8, 2016

The instant that I read the prompt, I remembered the very famous phrase of walking a mile in someone else’s shoes. Initially, I did not think that I could put that answer in this prompt; it seemed to simple and clichéd to write about. As I continued to think about the prompt however, I realized that you can use this phrase for all parts of the prompt. Being a good son/daughter, student, and citizen is done by putting yourself in someone else’s perspective.

Personally, I have always been a good daughter. I never have tried to disobey my parents even though I have the opportunity to do so. I currently live in the dorms at UCLA, while my parents live in Bakersfield. If I wanted to, I could easily tell them that I am in my dorm, while actually being at a party. In fact, many of my friends have asked me why I still obey my parents even though they are not around and would not be able to catch me if I was disobeying them. However, I think of my parent’s lives and I continue to want to obey them. My parents have worked hard for me to be where I am today. My father was never home because he worked so that we have the money to buy the school essentials. Even now, he’s rarely at home because he’s working to support us. It hurts me because he never got to bond with my brother and I because of the fact that he is always working. He never got to watch us grow up because he was trying to make sure there was money for us to eat, clothes on our back, and a house to live in. Walking a mile in his shoes shows me that it’s not worth losing my parents’ trust for having a little bit of fun. Other sons and daughters can think that way as well. If they try to put themselves in their parent’s shoes, then they would see that parents usually just care for their children. They only try to do what is best for them.

Being a good student can also be done by putting oneself into the teacher’s shoes. When I am in class, I either have a professor or teaching assistant. The professors get more respect than the teaching assistants because the teaching assistants are closer to our age. I see that many students don’t pay attention and instead use their phone. However, if they would put themselves in the teaching assistant’s shoes, they would give them more attention. One of my former teaching assistants told us about how she took on the job because she needed more money to pay for her doctorate degree. However, the school doesn’t pay much for her work and she has a lot of work to do to lead her discussion. She does not get to focus on her own education as much as she would like and yet she does not get the help that she is asking for. If she goes through so much, the least we can do is pay attention to the people that are trying to give us more knowledge and make class easier. I remind myself this every time I have the urge to stop paying attention to a bad teacher because they have a lot on their plate and the least the students can do is pay attention for the classes that they are supposed to be taking either way. Sometimes empathy is the best solution to behaving better.

Being a citizen can seem like a natural thing. Most of the time, people are born a citizen and don’t really remember a time that they weren’t. It follows that it can be difficult to know how to be a good citizen. One of the biggest ways of being a good citizen is by following the law. That means that anything that is illegal should not be done or else there will be consequences. Additionally, it is important to obey authority figures such as police officers. There is much controversy about how police have been acting but it is important to remember that each police officer has a family as well. They have children, spouses, parents, and other close relationships that would be ruined if they were killed. They risk their lives everyday for the benefit of the citizens. Without control, every citizen’s life would be in danger because there would be chaos and no punishment for the wrongdoings of people. The police officers have a dangerous job cut out for them, so the least a citizen can do is behave whenever confronted by an authority figure.

It is also good to behave well with neighbors and other citizens. Most citizens are not family so some may say that there is no point in being a good neighbor since they hold no relationship. However, citizens are all a part of their country; they share a bond with each other and it is important to respect each other. Every one comes from different backgrounds so it may seem hard to walk in someone else’s shoes but that’s the point of the saying. We have no idea what another person is like. What seems like a normal family might have serious financial burdens or family deaths that they might not want to broadcast. The least we can do to be a good citizen is respect each other’s requests.

The same saying has been repeated multiple times throughout this essay because it is a great way of behaving like a good person. If someone isn’t sure if they are being a good student or citizen, then they can think about the other person and whether it would be nice if someone did that to them. Empathy is a great way to understand how other people are and can help create a bond.


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