Lecture 3 - "The Cosmopolitan Ethic"
The 2014 CBC Massey Lectures by Adrienne Clarkson
This lecture originally aired on CBC Radio One on November 12, 2014.
"The injunction to help others as part of one's duty to one's country integrates a sense of place with a sense of self. We have interpreted citizenship as a consensual contract with certain emotive elements, such as a high regard for our natural surroundings, some respect for the institutions of government and the law, and, ideally, a commitment to helping advance the aims of our society in whatever way we are called upon to do so. Citizenship is linked on one hand to the rights of the individual, and on the other to membership and attachment to a community."
Citizenship demands that we participate in the act of being a citizen, to have not only rights, but responsibilities too. The beginning of this is the interaction with others, people in our society with a different background, faith, or culture. In accepting the difference, and the equality of others, we engage in the 'cosmopolitan ethic' — an understanding of the relationship between personal beliefs and public engagement. In this way, modern society creates a way for personal development to be shaped through public engagement.
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