[Community-service] Conversation starter…

Benjamin Vercellone benvercellone at gmail.com
Thu Jun 20 18:05:49 UTC 2013

I read the article, and found it to have a simple but powerful message. I was interested by the article's title: "National service is key to national strength". I agree with the title in the sense that our nation cannot be in its most powerful form if citizens are unwilling to work closely with one another, even going out of their comfort zones. I thought of several wonderful benefits that would take place in the lives of people, if they became more active in the community.
First of all, those who are more financially comfortable may become more compassionate toward the poor, and may be less judgmental and bound to certain ideologies which they use to try to justify their lifestyle. I believe that everybody is selfish in certain ways. But I believe that much division between people which is based on class would be lessened and softened with increased community service.
I also thought of the divide between people which concerns the academic and the non-academic realms. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that some academic people do insufficient hands-on work, be it a hobby or even community service. Some people seem to think, even if subconsciously, that academic work is sophisticated , and that hands-on work is not. They may have nothing against the idea of helping others. However, I believe there is a mental association that takes place which corresponds to the level of physical activity, resulting in a deep influence on the way we act. In other words, when some people see a person cleaning a building or working at a fast food restaurant, they often see this job as hopeless. But many see a person working in an office at a computer as being sophisticated and bound for success. Though many people who measure things this way do not wish ill on anyone, this way of viewing different jobs may greatly influence some people's willingness to help others in need in hands-on ways. This is my opinion anyway, based on some of my personal observations. Also concerning academic matters, students who take some time to help others will be able to add a critical dimension to their studies. If one reads testimonies of those who help out in a community, it is extremely common to hear or read the statement that the "receivers" of help assisted and taught the "helpers" at least as much as the "helpers" taught and helped those in need. Furthermore, those who engage in community service can encourage any of those whom they help who are seeking further education. They could give advice and helpful information concerning  potential resources. Besides, many of those who pursued their education depended on various methods of financial assistance. Therefore they could help some people in their communities in general ways, but also with advice for further education. Concerning this point, it is extremely important to remember that even those on the receiving end of community service help, who desire no further education, deserve respect and can also give tremendous help and incite.
Finally, I thought it was interesting how the article said that what we really care about, we institutionalize. I think it would be great if community service was encouraged so much that it became an integral part of everyone's life. It would be helpful if employers gave favor to job applicants who helped their communities. But community service should not just be something which people do for a short period of time as simply a means to an end. Of course many people who get involved in community service work quite sincerely. There may be a great benefit to encouraging a period of time in a person's life that is devoted to community service. Many people will get so sincerely involved during whatever length of time they are expected to serve, that they will help out for the rest of their lives. However, community service should ultimately be a lifestyle. If it is institutionalized too much, I fear that it will become polarized and ideological, almost like politics. I believe that programs should be developed and encouraged all around our nation, but I believe that community service must ultimately be a lifestyle. Basically, community service gives feet to what most of us believe and say.
I enjoyed this article, and it made me think about some great benefits that all participating citizens could enjoy. I thought the article had a correctly positive view of community service.

On Jun 20, 2013, at 11:48 AM, ds94124 at aol.com wrote:

> I wanted to share this article with you all, please let me know your thoughts… Is this true? www.politico.com/story/2013/06/national-service-is-key-to-national-strength-93069.html?utm_source=ABC%20News&utm_medium=Facebook&utm_campaign=Social 
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