My favorite book is entitled A Life God Rewards, by Bruce Wilkinson. In the book the author contends that God really doesn’t care about how many stars you wear (in my case), or how much money you make….He cares about the number of people you touch.
I am convinced we would have a better Nation if everyone made it a point to serve others. Today, less that 1% of the American public serve our Nation in uniform, but we all enjoy the freedoms provided by those select few. That’s service.
Of note, you don’t have to be in the US Military to serve others. There are many professions (medical, education, law enforcement, clergy, etc) in which folks make a remarkable contribution to society, and they should also be commended. That’s service as well.
I tell folks in my public presentations that the most important piece of furniture in their homes is their mirror, and that they should look themselves in the mirror routinely and ask themselves how are they doing. A specific question should be “Am I serving others?”
I don’t believe that we as a Nation should re-institute a draft, but I do believe we should have a service obligation for all of our citizens of some sort. That service could be as simple as volunteering in the local hospitals, assisting with upkeep of our common areas, etc.
We currently have some programs such as Peace Corps, Teach for America, and AmeriCorps, but they only accept a small number of applicants. We don’t need another formal government program (with all the bureaucracy, overhead, etc). That was tried both in the Kennedy administration in the 60’s and later under the Bush administration. In 2006 Congressman Rangel introduced a bill that required 2 years of compulsory service in some capacity, but that didn’t make it very far either.
What we need is an American public who have an intense desire to serve. Folks say that will never happen, but I disagree. The key is lifestyle evangelism. Serve others daily, and folks will follow your example. Can you imagine what our Nation would be like if everyone stopped focusing on themselves, and instead focused on helping others? Makes me smile just thinking about it.