A Year of National Service
A year of national service dates back to 1961 when America was still a colony. They used to create their own defense in order to defeat their enemies who were mostly their colonizers (Britons). This required registration of strong men in the armed force, then go through a training that was less than that of real soldiers then be in the service for designated period of time which was mostly during wars or other urgent cases as such. This recruiting was mostly done when the paid workforce or volunteers fell short of the required number.
Between the years 1933 and 1942, Franklin D. Roosevelt founded the Civilian Conservation Corps. This gave millions of Americans a chance to serve their country a period of between six and eighteen months. This really played a big role in helping the nation regain its economy, status and infrastructure as they supported themselves and their families.This has evolved from being a compulsory requirement by the government to the young men of ages between 18 and 25 years, to the current situation where one only needs to volunteer. Numerous groups that encourage Americans to get involved in serving the public sector have been formed over the years.
Due to this, the years between 1989 and 2006 have witnessed Americans volunteer rate go up by almost 7%. This is quite a great improvement in comparison with the past years.This service is not only limited to the Americans but to the aliens as well. Males who are not American citizens but are permanent residents of the required age are asked to register themselves with the Selective Service System. This is so serious that ones refusal of acting accordingly can lead to the denial of citizenship.
A year of National Service should be required for all Americans. This may not be acceptable to all and may seem unfair, but it really plays a big role towards the improvement and the progress of any particular country and America in this matter. This may raise a lot of criticism from many especially since it raised more criticism the first time it was introduced to the people. Those in the past compared it with slavery and viewed it as another form of slavery.Well, it might look like slavery, since one would be required to do something they were not willing to do since, but the good thing about this kind of ‘slavery’ would be that it benefitted ones country unlike the other slavery that benefitted the masters slavery. Whether one agrees with me or not, work is always done and a certain goal achieved whether the workers are doing willingly or not.
The more work force a country gets, the more it gains.Going into battles and wars has mostly been left to a couple of individuals. Although I agree that it is not everybody who can handle themselves bravely in the battle field, it is also important to include as many people as possible for it improves the chances of winning.Barrack Obama encouraged the people to get involved in serving the nation as he signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, in the month of April last year. This act permits and expands national service programs.
It is important that all the citizens be allowed to play a role in the building and service of the nation. When one knows how it feels to earn something then see another person misuse or destroy it, they will be able to fit in the shoes of the people who fought for freedom and then see the younger generation waste themselves with all sorts of illegal behaviors and businesses (Hamilton 81).Most people do not feel the pain of loosing something if they did not pay a price for it. This is why money given as a gift can be easily spent without much consideration more than money earned from a hard day’s work. Serving the country for a whole year will make one realize and appreciate the American forefathers who painfully captured America from its colony. Citizens will be able to take care of the available resources and utilize them to the at most.
If one would sit back and compare the older citizens and the younger ones, they would realize that there is a lot of difference. It may not all be caused by the service they did for the country in the time they were required to, but it has a role to play. These citizens speak about the country with a lot of enthusiasm and pride as if they were talking about their children or loved ones. They can sit and talk about this country for hours not because of their age and the characters that come with it, but because they are truly proud to be Americans. Most of the younger generation however, talks about the country for the sake of it without much interest or when they are asked to write an essay like this as part of an important examination.Discipline comes with a service to the nation.
People who have served some time for the nation are disciplined citizens unless one just wants to be arrogant. This discipline mostly comes from the training they receive. They receive training as the one received in the army which does not fall short when it comes to instilling discipline. This does not help one during the service but in future as well. This discipline is later seen in their places of work after they have left the service, in the community and even in their homes which later passed on to their children and the other people who look up to them.
Enrolling in the National Service will help curb idleness in the society and the country as a whole. This includes all the other habits that are brought about by idleness such as drug abuse, theft and burglary, rape, illegal businesses and other forms of immorality that are being engaged by the young people mostly. When one is busy serving the country, they do not have much time left to get themselves involved in such activities.The discipline instilled during the time in service is strong and sufficient enough to enable one make the right choices. Young people and mostly the youth cry out and say that there are no jobs for them.
This is a great opportunity to show that they can do something for the country and for themselves. This opportunity may also enable them to learn and develop new ideas which might help earn a living (Rangel 97).This is also a great time to reflect on what one wants with their lives for those who are not fully decided. Instead of passing time at home doing nothing, this is a great way of making a concrete decision especially between the time one graduates from high school to the time they enter college.Conserving the environment and its inhabitants is very important. Some small signs as ‘do not litter’ will become meaningful as serving the country will not only be all about being in the army but also doing the small duties of cleaning the environment.
Many people may argue that this would be a violation of individual rights but it all depends on how one looks at it. It may look like violating ones rights in one way but it may also be seen as a way of helping and rehabilitate the young generation a the country grows. What rights does one enjoy when his blood system is full of cocaine and heroine and their head high with marijuana? Does one enjoy any rights if they spent most of their lives in and out of prison? What good do the rights do to one who can hardly wipe off a fly due to drunkenness? Though all this may not be totally caused by being idle, idleness sure has a big role to play and all that can be solved by one year in the national service before another step is taken (Greenya 75).This service only last for a year and not a whole lifetime as other critiques would want one to think. If one is not comfortable, they have got only one year to endure but if one likes it, they have got one year to enjoy.
This is a very short time for one to truly give back to the nation. There are people who dedicate their whole lifetime to serving the nation and they are not different from the rest of the citizens.Foreigners come in the country and get jobs as some citizens sit back and wait for the nation to be developed by the foreigners. Though this may be a disadvantage to the foreigners, it is a disgrace to the citizens. The citizens should set the example.
They should pose a challenge to the foreigners (Sagawa 68).Serving the nation should not be seen as a mode of punishment but a way of paying back what the country has done to us. We should not ask “what has the country done for me?” but rather we should ask “what can I do for the country?” Other countries that used to have enrolling in the National Service as a youth requirement in the past, used to progress really first. A country like Kenya which is found in the East part of Africa used to have this requirement accomplished by the youth before the entered the university in the early 1990s. The youth were disciplined then which is currently portrayed for there was no time for taking drugs, excessive alcohol consumption and other immoral and illegal activities.
National service makes one realize how important ones country is. The army people are loyal to their country and are always ready to protect it. This is the same way the National Service makes one be. We cannot all serve the country as army men policemen or soldiers and so this is a great opportunity for citizens to show what they can do for the country.Being in this service will also play a big role in reducing the cost of some activities. Cleaning up the cities and the neighborhoods is also part of national service.
Constructing roads, buildings or any other kind of infrastructure development is a form of national service (Kellor 25).Skills, knowledge and ones realization can be achieved during this time. One will be able to appreciate other people and from different beliefs, cultures, religions and other different backgrounds as one serves the nation. There is no individual work in this training. People are taught about how to work as a team and not as individuals. It is not about getting individual praises and recognitions but it is all about winning and as a team and growing as a nation.
This is how one is able to work with different people from diverse backgrounds in order to achieve a certain goal.