Required to be a Good Citizen?
Required to Be a Good Citizen? Volunteering is supposed to be about, well, choosing to help others, right? Volunteers participate in community service because they feel good about the work they do, they like to help other people or feel they are giving back to the world. It’s all about them willingly giving up their time and putting effort into a thing that is completely not about anything other than service. Not so much anymore.
Community service is now an obligation; students have to participate in a certain number of hours as a part of being able to graduate. Volunteering will always benefit a community, as well as many other people, but it should not be forced upon students. There are many different people out there, some may pass through community service requirements with ease, but other may find it challenging and dislike it being forced upon them. Community service should be a matter of someone choosing to give up their time to benefit the community, not being forced into volunteering to get the grade. Traveling to Haiti to help rebuild, or to give medical aid; Going to the library to help shelf books, or tutor someone; Help out at the local soup kitchen or assist the elderly; All examples of volunteering. Volunteering is when one person chooses to take part in a task, or job where they will not get paid.
Community service is when a volunteer work is taken up in a specific area, meant to help that area. The main idea of volunteer work or community service is to choose to do that job, while knowing full well that you are doing any work free of charge. Many people today volunteer through activities provided by their church or synagogue, or other are involved in girl or boy scouts and participating in any of these organizations is a choice that leads to community service opportunities. To name a few things these organizations do, they put together mission trips and collect donations to help people. So it is easy for participants to find community service opportunities.
Both boy and girl scouts were founded on the basis of service and helping the community and other people, so people who partake in either are exposed to community service. All of these organizations are examples of people volunteering by choice. They chose to become a part of them and in turn do community service. That is what makes churches, and scouts so good— because they volunteer to help people, without being forced to. Community service is always a good thing.
It is good to help other people, without expecting to be paid in return. Volunteering is also said to look better and better on resumes. Many colleges and employers are now looking at the amount of community service an applicant has completed, as a part of why they would want to hire someone. 43% of college graduates participate in community service, while in comparison 10% of people without a high school diploma partake in volunteering opportunities. This information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows how people who do community service have found it easier to go farther.
They deserve all the benefits that come from choosing to do volunteer work. If people want to volunteer, that is great and they should, they are helping others and possibly themselves. However volunteering is not for everyone, therefore it should not be forced upon everyone. Everyone should be entitled to their own opinion about such things and be able to do as they please. Nevertheless, community service as a punishment to those who have broken the law is a great punishment, and a help to the community and the only type of forced volunteering that should be tolerated and encouraged.
Community service hours are now mandatory for graduating many schools. Students have to participate at a set amount of hours sometime along their years of school. Some people find it difficult to find volunteer opportunities, or take advantage of them. I know I have spent many days stressing over my lack community service hours. I find it difficult to find community service opportunities that suit my schedule, as well as my personal interests.
And even once I had found things that I enjoyed doing, there were little opportunities for me to actually take part in the activities, either they were already full of other people or the times available were wrong. It is possible that people have no interest in volunteering. They do not see the benefits as worth it, or find it simpler to donate money to a cause. Maybe people do not have time to volunteer, because they are too busy with work or schoolwork. They should not be forced to volunteer, when they lack interest or time. I believe volunteering is a good thing, and should be continued, but the basis of volunteering is having one person volunteer to do a service.
It should be that person’s own choice to help. Sure, volunteering helps everyone and maybe making it a requirement pushes more people to get involved. But that is taking away the choice in the matter that makes volunteering such a good deed. Schools should not make those choices for the students; by forcing students to participate in community service schools are treating them practically the same as criminal’s whose punishment is to do community service. Students should be able to make their own choices, whether they want to volunteer in things or not, without having to worry about failing school because they did not get enough community service hours.
Community service should not be required for graduating school, because the best part of volunteering lies in the choice that people make to freely offer their service and help to others, without expecting anything in return. People who volunteer should care about the work they are doing, therefore only people who choose to volunteer should actually have to volunteer. Schools should not be able to require students to do something that’s value is within the choice that leads to doing it. Works Cited: “Volunteering in the United States, 2012.” Economic News Release, U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. (22 February 2013). Web. 20 April 2013.