The requirement of volunteering leaves me feeling once again that our culture forces the dual aspect of yes and no when I fee the non dual response of yes and no. I feel community service projects personally should be required of high school school student as the process teaches them about character which is sorely missed in our public schools. The process takes kids away from their self absorption and their excessive time spent with the gadgets of the computer, emailing texting and the sort. It enables them to develop their character through caring and compassion also the interpersonal skills of truly connecting to other human beings.
Since I am forced to take a dual position, my position globally and as a whole is to respond as no. Here are three reasons:
1) The question itself begins with the word should, implying that we as parents or educators should enforce our moral standards on our young people. There are who knows how many people today on a therapist’s couch because their life has been one hell consisting of “shoulda, coulda and woulda”. Let’s take a break from putting these kids on a guilt trip
2) There is a connotation in our culture that community service serves as punishment and is this the message we wish to convey to our children? People convicted of minor crimes are often given community service as an option to a monetary fine or a jail sentence. In a personal experience several years ago, I had a made a complaint against a neighbor for harassment and bias. He was found guilty and given 75 hours of community service in place of a possible jail sentence.
3) Here, the third reason is to some degree tied into the first reason. In a recent study conducted, students who are graduating high school have endured 35,000 hours of lecture comprised of subject matter. it is also comprised of different teacher telling the student about their belief system. The idea of a belief system is tied to thought thus having no relevance to facts or the truth. Community service is another form of forced experience placed on students.
As a retired high school teacher and college professor, I have seen kids enter kindergarten as a creative question mark and graduate twelve years later as a passive period. In most cases, community service adds to the period as a mandatory requirement becomes just another choice!