Active Citizenship = Healthy Nation

If we look at these two definitions of what it means to be an active citizen, we can see a powerful emphasis on the fact that even just one single person makes a difference for the better of the whole.

“Cherish, therefore, the spirit of our people, and keep alive their attention. If once they become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and [the governing powers], shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature.” ~ Thomas Jefferson {3rd President of the United States}

Secondly, note the emphasis on both the duties and rights of a citizen i.e. it takes two to tango: if we are active citizens who take responsibility for ourselves and where we can for those around us by insisting on service etc. then government will know and understand its people and tailor its leadership to be effective and equitably just.

“… it is the duty of every citizen to use his best and most unremitting endeavours for preserving it [the Constitution] to be pure, healthful, and vigorous. For the accomplishment of this great purpose, the exertions of no one citizen are unimportant. Let no one therefore harbour the mean idea that he is and can be of no value to his country: let the contrary impres­sion animate his soul that EVERY ONE of us can, at many times, perform for our country, useful services; and he, who steadily pursues the road of active citizenship, has the most inviting prospect of being able, at some times, to perform eminent ones.” ~ James Wilson

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How then does this translate into our South African context of breast health?

 

1. Every single one of us MUST be involved in our own health by educating ourselves about breast health, breast cancer and health in general. We must take responsibility for the health of our own breasts by performing self-examinations each month, making sure we are doing it properly and at the right time of the month.

2. We MUST give voice to what what we know by talking about breast health and helping to educate our children, friends, employees etc. about breast health. Spread the word! Ignite a flame to light the way!

3. If we should find a lump, it is our responsibility to go straight to the doctor for a clinical examination, making sure our rights are met by insisting on fair and effective service.

4. As above, if we know someone who has discovered a lump, we can empower them with both encouragement and knowledge so they know they must get to a doctor immediately and that they too insist on having their rights met. i.e. fair and effective access to all breast health, breast cancer treatment and support.

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By SHARING this post to your social media accounts or emailing it directly to your friends and family is yet another way you can be a responsibly active citizen: sharing knowledge = shakes the world awake = saves lives!

Talk to us on Facebook and Twitter as well!

 

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