Citizenship

Citizenship and Friendship is a piece from ”Habits of the Heart’, which is written by Robert N. Bellah and associates. This passage talks about how the definition of friendship changes over time in American communities. Bellah says that classical ideas of friendship in early America contains three important elements that ”Friends must enjoy one another’s company, friends must be useful to one another, and friends must share a common commitment to the good”. According to Bellah, the first two elements still exist at present days, but the third component seems being abandoned by people today.

I disagree with Bellah’s idea because I think the third component, sharing a common commitment to the good, is still regarded as an important part of friendship. People reveal the third trait by donating, by volunteering and by agreeing to political stands. (T) Many people donate funds to foreign countries for helping them, and therefore, they establish an international friendship. (R) According to the passage, traditional view of friendship is “not merely private: they are public, even political,for a civic order”. E)Like Bellah mentions, some people combine resources with only one goal and that is to help others, regardless their backgrounds. (E)For example, in the earthquake in 2008 in China, Japanese Government donated 5,300,000,000 Yen(approximately 5000,000 USD) to the earthquake. It was the second largest donation from all of the foreign countries. As we all know, Japan had aggressed China in World War II. These two countries had a really bad relationship in recent hundred years. However, Japan gave such a great help regardless the political disagreements, when China suffered disasters.

Besides Japan donating money, they also sent volunteers , food supplies, shelters and medical attentions. (A) Japan placed the public good ahead of its political conflicts. They developed a friendship by providing resources such as money and volunteers to help china to recover from the earthquake. (C) The third element of friendship is maintained by providing helps without politics standing in the way. (T) People who work together for volunteer can establish a strong friendship. R) ”But friendships were by no means confined to local communities in early American society,” Bellah says, “Particularly where a common cause united them, people of quire different backgrounds could become friends. ” (E) The friendship derived from volunteering has a great strength because those volunteers are sharing the common goal, which is to serve for the society. (E)Tracing back to my high school year, I had an experience to be a volunteer to teach kids who could not afford the tuition. At that time, I met one of my best friends. We worked together for several weeks, but we seldom talked to each other.

Until one day, we were assigned a work, which was designing an activity for children’s day. We became close through discussing and working on the assignment. We started chatting about the reason we came for the volunteer and the view for the future. Surprisingly, she understand my thought better than any of my friends. I felt our heart was so close in touch. We kept contacting each other after the volunteer and exchanged our views frequently. She was acting like a soulmate in life. (A)I think the reason we can be so close is because we have the same value and same concern to the public good. Volunteer is the linkage bind us together. C)Volunteering shows that the third component of friendship is important for people to establish a friendship and maintain the strength of that friendship. (T) In front of political disagreement, people choose to put common concern for the public good ahead of any individual conflicts. (R)The passage says ”Their reconciliation after a period of bitter estrangement illustrates their capacity to put their common concern for the public good ahead of their Partisan disagreements” (e) Some people choose to abandon their original political stand and put the common concern on the first place for benefiting the nation. E)Here, I want to talk about Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton. This two people were both candidates for the election five years ago. Even though they were both in Democratic party, they emphasized the different point of views. Obama and Clinton disagreed on few issues since 2005. For instance, Obama voted the Mandate, which forces automaker to achieve 40 mile-per-gallon average fuel economy by the year 2017. Meanwhile, Clinton rejected it. Moreover, Clinton voted for using force in Iraq. However, Obama fought against Wars. Cliton and Obama became friends after they work together. I consider Hillary a strong friend. ” Obama said in CBS 60’ minutes. (A) Clinton put away her original view and functioned as a coherent unit with Obama for benefiting the people in America. (C)As a result, Obama and Clinton developed their friendship because they worked for the same goal for their nation. Overall, the third component can be shown by donating, volunteering, and agreeing to political stands. Sharing the same commitment to the good are still one of the most important elements of friendship today. It’s the key of establishing and maintaining a true friendship.

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