I was out sweeping leaves off the neighbors' sidewalk and someone thanked me. I smiled back. Inside, I felt a little angry and a little guilty. Angry that nobody but me thinks to do this sort of thing, and guilty because I wasn't doing it for the community, I was doing it for me. I walk to work that way and I don't need to break something slipping on slimy leaves.
It reminded me of years ago I was doing community service for the school. A young child came up and asked, "What are you doing?" I explained what I was doing and that I did it for community service. She asked, "What did you do?" I didn't understand the question at first, but finally I realized, she thought I had broken the law and was required to do the community service. It broke my heart then and it breaks it now to realize how many children grow up believing doing community service is a punishment. When I was a kid, it was something you did because it was the right thing to do. I got into high school and it became something you did to make your college application look better. That was when it started to lose appeal for me.
I used to do a lot of community service, and now I do little to none at all. I considered helping out at the school which is just a few blocks from me, but after seeing all the hoops and red tape, I changed my mind. It amazes me anyone is willing to do community service at this day and era of general mistrust.
What is the best thing you ever did for community service? For me, it was keeping the foot bridge clean. I feel good about that because it kept people safe, and because, after my kids changed schools and I stopped doing it, someone else took up the task. That someone else followed meant what I had done had been appreciated. So many times, it is difficult to know if your work has value to others.
IMNSHumbleO, doing it for me often dovetails nicely with doing it for the community.
My tale re. community service = punishment comes from one of the fly-in reserves. I needed something to occupy my time [spruce up the outdoor rink] , and figured it would be easier in the in fall than in the dead of winter. One of the band councilors arranged for a few dudes to help out. 2 or 3 mornings and all is progressing well.... 'cept, come Friday... no helpers!!. I figured the guys just wanted a long weekend, but when nobody else showed on Monday I went to see the councilor..... who clued me in .... the other guys community service requirement had been fulfilled. The work never did get done.... wheel loader scrunched the roof for one of the players' benches that had remained upside-down on the ground and got [partially] covered with snow. Ah well... all's well that ends well, I suppose.
One of my current community service (?) initiatives is to reduce the amount of stuff ending up as landfill, by repurposing/reusing stuff from the dump. Alas, I've been more-or-less stymied by council.... which has decided [in it's wisdom ] that burying or burning it is the preferred way.
Edited by - Owen on 10/21/2021 10:54:20
That term "community service" is now established as an official minor punishment, and often refers to those picking up trash along the highway in lieu of jail time. You will need a new term or phrase. Perhaps "voluntary service?" Or the less handy "just being a nice person and helping out here and there."
People have become so touchy, so PC, so litigious ...therefore my “community service” is to volunteer with a dog rescue....the dogs don’t complain, get a nice home, and are happy. Everybody wins.
Just be a nice pal and buddy in life. That the best "community service" there is!
No good deed goes unpunished.
Too many folks nowadays seem to be more concerned over their income rather than their friendliness to others. It is like "If I don't get paid, whats the point".
That is why I often do good favors for friends and family friends of ours. If someone needs help with, say, pasturing their cows for a day, I would be glad to go over there and help them out.
Of course, that does not mean that everyone has that chance. Just do it when you can as often as possible.
Edited by - BeeEnvironment on 10/21/2021 15:23:18
Some schools require community service for graduation, I don’t like this as forcing someone to do community service seems to run contrary to the idea of voluntary community service, also I thought the 13th amendment forbids this sort of thing. For myself, I did community service last Monday when I saved the lives of three strangers. I gave up my life’s blood to offer it to someone else who needed the pint more then me. I give blood twice a year, it helps to thin out the blood which is good for my cardiovascular system and my type O blood is in high demand at local and distant hospitals. Street cleaning, sidewalk sweeping seem a waste as these things will just get dirty again, saving a life, helping to make someone healthy again, that is an afternoon well spent, something worth doing.
When I was teaching one of the criteria for our annual review was community service. I never did it (for the school) and when asked during my review my answer was always "I taught the kids in the community science". Funny thing was, I never got a 0 in that category, which I should have because I was being a smart ass. The scale went from 0-5, and I never got a 5 either until I made loud complaints. Seems the principal dictated that no one could get a 5 because that meant there was no room for improvement. I got a 4 for attendance, even though I had perfect attendance for the past 3 years so I loudly protested and asked how I could improve on perfect. Mandatory public service is not service, but servitude. Most of what I do is trail and river clean up, but whenever there is a call for help, if I'm available, I will show up. Currently I'm actively protesting the building of an unnecessary fracked gas power plant that is to be built in a neighboring town.
In the past I have done "Antique Roadshows" for church, civic groups, and garden clubs .... almost always for senior citizens. I have also lectured about some of the things I collect and on November 16, I will be doing one at the Anderson (SC) County Museum. I'm not an "expert" on anything (except I guess my profession), but as long as you know more than the folks you are lecturing you can make it fun for them.
Bill Rogers (Moderator)
My take on community service is highly political, so I won’t discuss it. Suffice to say I don’t participate. Doesn't mean I won’t help friends or neighbors in need. That ‘s different.
'Saga SS10P WTB' 7 hrs
'Winter Wellness Scale' 10 hrs