“Work should embody ideals of dignity, equity and giving workers a voice – some say in how the workplace is organized. The relationship between work and family life must be recognized. People also see work as a chance to use their skills, and as a social experience … aspirations that implicitly express a strong idea of citizenship – being recognized as a valued member of the workplace community.” “While strong democracy requires active citizens, active citizens require public spaces in which to work with others from a mix of backgrounds. The practice of public work — civic organizing — while often messy and time-consuming, is also effective in reviving the public missions and practices of the places where we live and work.” What is the relationship between work and active citizenship? “Public work is a framework for reinventing an active practice of citizenship. Public work stresses practical public effort by ordinary people in everyday environments such as neighborhoods, schools, 4-H clubs, government agencies, nursing homes, religious congregations, community groups, service organizations, and other settings in helping to create and build — to "produce" the world around them.” “Citizenship requires practice. Our skills, concern, and understanding as citizens are constantly evolving and changing. Citizenship — the ongoing contribution of citizens to solving community and public problems and creating the world around us — and its skills and values are best cultivated in everyday community and institutional contexts.” “A different world cannot be built by indifferent people.” How does an active citizen/worker assist in the production of “the world around them”? If you do not hold any type of job now, you may want to ask questions about your behavior as a student; after all, being a student is your most important "job" right now. Ask yourself such things as: Do I show up on time for my classes? Is my out-of-class work complete and handed in on time? Do I take initiative to learn more about the subject matter than is expected of me? Do I exhibit a positive attitude in class, by listening, and by contributing my own ideas and opinions when appropriate? If I were the teacher, would I want to teach a student like me? If I were another student, would I want to attend class with someone like me? The most serious mistake a student could probably make is to think, "Well, I'm not the best student or the best employee right now, but these aren't REAL jobs. When I graduate and get a REAL job, everything will change." Positive work behaviors do not magically "appear" at the time when a person starts a "real job." Like most good things, a positive work ethic develops over time and with effort. How is your academic career preparing you to be a useful member of society— one with a significant amount of civic power?