Dr Mark Potts

Living Citizenship - Dr Mark Potts

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I would love to hear your stories of how you improve the lives of others and share them.

What do you do to improve the lives of others?

Living Citizenship This website is based on the Zulu idea of Ubuntu and is dedicated to celebrating how we improve the lives of others. The aim is to 
“Get the Ubuntu Going” by sharing our stories.

Examples of Living Citizenship Values:

Inclusion                  Social Justice         Love                Ubuntu           Hope

Respect           Compassion              Equal Rights          Mercy             Equal Opportunities

The values that we seek to live out are many and various. These values may be motivated by any form of religious belief or by none. What is common about these values and the actions that flow from them is that they are based on the notion of Ubuntu and  improving the lives of others.

I've been stumbling on good hearts turned to stone
The road of good intentions has gone dry as bone

From Chicago to New Orleans
There ain't no help, the cavalry stayed home,
There ain't no one hearing the bugle blown
We take care of our own
Wherever this flag's flown
We take care of our own

Where are the eyes, the eyes with the will to see
Where's the hearts that run over with mercy
Where's the love that has not forsaken me
Where's the work that'll set my hands, my soul free
Where's the spirit to reign reign over me
Where's the promise, from sea to shining sea.
We take care of our own
Wherever this flag's flown
We take care of our own

The message must change to “We take care of each other”.

Good hearts need to resist being turned to stone.

The cavalry needs to come riding out to help others.

Respond to the bugle call

See others and let your hearts show mercy

Love has not forsaken us

Let’s fulfil the promise.


The values of Living Citizenship can be understood through a contrast with the values that Bruce Springsteen writes about in his song “We Take care of Our Own”, a damning indictment of modern day American isolationism.
We Take Care of our Own
We Take Care of Each Other
From Colonial to Postcolonial
The neo-liberal view of the world whereby things are done for money and for selfish reasons serves us badly. In our relationships with people from other countries we need to be aware of the impact that this dominant economic structure has on them creating inequality, injustice and dependency. The view portrayed by the media of African and Asian countries as under-developed and in need of “help” from us in “more advanced” nations is harmful. It uses a colonial narrative of superiority e.g. advanced/ less advanced, developed/less developed. We need to develop a different world view and create a narrative which respects the values of other countries and supports their own version of development. Living Citizenship gives a voice to the less powerful and gives citizens across the world the opportunity to discuss what their priorities are, what is different between them and what is similar, giving rise to goals that transform lives and that are owned and led by the participants themselves. This has to be the future of development.