Sample English Essay Paper on Civic Contract

Civic Contract

Write a one-sentence summary of each writer’s main point:

John Donne “No Man Is an Island”

The author writes the poem to remind us of how our lives are intertwined, such that we cannot be isolated from one another; for this reason, all that concerns one man concerns us all.

Mark Twain “Advice to Youth”

The main idea from the writer concerns how the youth should live their lives presented in six aspects; obeying parents, being respectful to superiors, getting to bed early and rising up early, being careful about lying, handling firearms carefully and reading good books.

Peter Singer “What Should a Billionaire Give – and What Should You?”

He talks of everyone’s social responsibility, especially emphasizing on the contributions the rich should give to the government or any other non-governmental institutions to help minimize poverty globally.

Thomas Jefferson “The Declaration of Independence”

Thomas writes to emphasize on the equality that lies amongst humanity that should not in any way be disregarded, thereby declaring that the people’s right to life, happiness and being free should be respected.

John F. Kennedy “Inaugural Address”

He particularly focuses on the challenges that the USA and the world in general face, urging everyone to unite towards their common enemy; poverty, diseases, war, and oppression

In a six-paragraph essay, argue a response to this question: To what degree is a person obligated to help others in fulfilling the civic contract? 

            Equality is often a topic of discussion in several forums. All arguments that revolve around equality often bring about the belief that we are all created equally in God’s eyes. Feminism, gender equality, racism, and ethinicity are some of the topics of dicussion surrounding equality. No one would love to be alienated; neither would anyone publicly accept that he/she has treated someone else unfairly. Civic contract is an ideology that fosters people’s moral obligation to be supportive and mindful of other people, in that they respect, honour, practice, and campaign for freedom, equality, and human rights, as well as tolerance. In America, civic contract would entail defending each other’s national identity so that both citizens and foreigners can live independent and meaningful lives.One is not limited to how much he/she can contribute to a civic contract, as long as it is done willingly and for the benefit of all humanity.

Civic contract is characterized by a number of elements. First, one has to be mindful of each other’s joy, pain, and sorrow. Donne explains that we all belong to each other and cannot be separated in any way therefore, every persons’ misfortunes directly translates to our own misfortunes and happiness (1). He symbolically represents God as our author, and we are the chapters by opposing the notion that we sometimes feel we are better than others when in real sense we are all products of the same creator. Secondly, civic contract entails protection of people’s rights to freedom, happiness, and life. In Jefferson’s article, he affirms that all men are equal and should therefore be treated equally (2). He also states that any government that is not in support of people’s rights should be overthrown. He concludes by stating the oppressions that the Americans were subjected to under the British and called for the attention of the Supreme Judge of the world to the declaration that America ought to be free (Jefferson 2). In addition, the fight against diseases, poverty, oppression, and wars characterizes a civic contract. During Kennedy’s inaugural speech, he calls out for the American people as well as it neighbors against all their challenges. He also warns USA’s enemies that they would be met with formidable force in case anyone of them was against their goodwill in either America or the rest of the world (1). Mark Twain’s opinion of civic contract focuses on the youth as he highlights certain aspects that they need to oblige to. He  states that the youth should be obedient to parents, respect the elderly, handle arms carefully, read good books, be careful when lying, going to bed and get up early. According to Twain, these aspects should be taken more keenly and urgently since such values are well absorbed at such a tender age (1). Finally, civic contract entails giving to the poor to alleviate poverty. According to Singer, the perception that we are all created equally should be emphasized in every aspect especially in reference to the fact that despite a billion people currently living in affluence, a billion others also live in abject poverty (n.p). He explains that for us to achieve a balance the rich (according to their wealth status) should give to help alleviate the poverty and diseases. Moreover, he stresses that one is not limited to giving the fair share rather he/she should give more as this would go a long way in covering up for those who fail to give as well as those who give less (Singer n.p).

Helping others should not be limited to your current state, personal gain or publicity acquired; rather, it should be bound by the moral obligation to help others and the golden rule- doing unto others just as we would want them to do unto us. There are several reasons why we should help others. First, helping others is a command from God. Jesus himself commissions us to help the helpless and reach out to those who are in need. In the New Testament when the disciples ask Him about the judgment day, he points out that those who fail to give food to the poor or fail to visit the prisoners would not enter the kingdom of God no matter how righteous they seemed to be. Moreover, every one of us needs help at one point or another. Help differs and no one would love to be assumed or neglected at their time of need. It is important that we learn to help for you never know when your turn comes. Helping others is also a sign of humanity. We are not only human by the fact that we are made of flesh, blood, but also have emotions which is the only thing that will set us apart from other living things. It makes no sense for us to live like animals; selfish and careless of a brother’s needs. We communicate; we have a brain that is superior to other animals’ and so, there is the need for us to act like we really are intelligent.

Helping others comes in several ways. The most common way to help others is through monetary value. Most times this kind of help is applicable when it is the most convenient or helpful at the time. For instance, when you board a bus and happen to come across a passenger who has probably lost their fare thus unable to pay, it is only prudent for you to offer some money for bus fare. Moreover, we often come across relatives or friends that are confronted by financial constraint thus inhibiting them from acquiring certain amenities such as education or medical help, giving them financial help is most applicable in this case. Helping others may also entail giving material property such as food, clothes and housing. This may be appropriate, especially when helping orphans, street families or the poor. The physically challenged may also be helped by granting them services that they may otherwise be unable to access. This would involve building special schools, donating wheelchairs, reading material or helping them around the house or in the streets.

 Helping other presents us with a myriad of benefits. When we help others, they also find themselves obligated to helping us. Many people feel indebted to you even several years after you helped them especially when you were the only one who came to their rescue when everyone else was either unavailable or had neglected them. Helping other also helps to build a positive mindset in society. A society characterized by helpful people is often a loving, peaceful and united society. Moreover, helping others also helps in building relations that would otherwise amount to friendship. As stated earlier, in a situation where one is helped by a total stranger or someone they never expected would help them always breaks every barrier that was initially created by societal status, education, or age. Such people often find a way of getting to know each other better, communicate regularly eventually making them friends. Whenever nations come to rescue each other from certain crises, the eventual outcome of the help often results to friendly and cooperative nations.

In conclusion, it never costs too much to help someone out. If anything, helping others often comes with a feeling of satisfaction and self-worth. We should often remember that there is often somebody somewhere in need of help and our one step to help them would be the beginning of their happiness and breakthrough. In addition, we should not be limited to  our current state of affairs rather every little thing that we may do whether material, financial or emotional is still help to someone who desperately needs it.

Works Cited

Donne, John. No Man is an Island. Print

Jefferson, Thomas. Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services.  1776. Print.

Kennedy, F., John. Inaugural Address. John Woolley and Gerhard Peters. 20 Jan. 1961.

Singer, Peter. What A Billionaire Should Give – And What Should You? The New York Times.

Twain, Mark. Advice to Youth. 1882. Print