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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Military service for young people

Scot wrote about his son becoming an American soldier, something which I thought was good writing, 'capturing' me and dragging me into his perception of the events. It made me feel like I was there. In one of his comments he wrote, "When it comes to teaching young people etiquette, the armed services wins hands down."

This is something I agree with wholeheartedly. However, not just with etiquette, but also with respect and discipline. The young people of today, the teenagers and the early 20-somethings, they generally and mostly have no understanding of respect, or with the discipline that is needed to become successful adults. Successful in becoming valued members of society.

The politically correct societies of the western world, particularly America, have created a society where self responsibility doesn't exist, where blame is assigned to anyone and anything except oneself. When the politically correct society tells you that you're not at fault, that it's the fault of the education system, your parents, your friends, your peers, your government, and any other thing they can blame, then this same society is teaching the young to avoid self responsibility.

When you have no responsibility for your actions, you have no understanding of respect, which is the essence of 'good manners'. Respect only comes when you understand the repercussions of your actions, and you know that doing something bad or wrong will result in bad things happening to you. Respect is about 'self preservation', about making sure that you look after yourself and others, in order to be looked after by them in return. If you fail to be respectful, then you will reap the consequences of your actions. This adds an incentive to be respectful.

However, the young people of today are being shown that generally there are no consequences for their actions. When they are not responsible for their actions, then other people are made to suffer the consequences. There's too much 'hand slapping', etc, in society, and encouragement to avoid responsibility.

Being in the military teaches responsibility, and teaches that irresponsible actions have serious consequences. It encourages self-responsibility, discipline and respect.

I've had the opinion for a long time that in order to create a better society, compulsive military service should be enforced for all able-bodied people from the age of 18. This would have positive effects on society by teaching them respect, discipline and self-responsibility. It'd be teaching them effective management skills as well, which is positive for employment and new businesses. The economy benefits due to low unemployment and related costs, and society benefits due to less crime. It's only those people who have no respect, no discipline and often no hope who become criminals.

While compulsive military service wouldn't solve all of society's ills, it would certainly improve it. And for those who aren't aware, I've also served in the military from 18 - 21. I understand the value of it, and speak from experience.

Posted on 2/07/2006 01:35:00 PM Backlinks


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3 Comments:

Blogger dog1net said...

Alan,
Very well said. Since returning from Fort Benning, I've been giving this subject considerable thought, and in reading your perspective on the matter with young people today, I agree with you on several points. "Respect and discipline" are meaningless concepts for many of our young people today. With the youth I work with, they are guided by the ethos of rap and emulate the gang culture that's derived from it. "Slap me and I'll kick your ass. And, oh, you's best not be dissing me neither." They watch the images and listen to the lyrics. Gangers and Bangers. "Yo, dude, it's where it's at." Young people who choose to serve in our armed services, however, learn to live by a higher ideal, and contrary to losing their individuality as many are wont to believe, they actually discover who they really are for the first time. I take comfort in knowing that my son has embraced the seven Army values of Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage. As he said, "these are values I can believe in . . . values that will help guide me throughout the rest of my life.
Certainly we have given each other much to think about here. Thanks for that,
Scot

2/08/2006 02:14:00 PM  
Blogger Alan Howard said...

Thanks for your lengthy comment Scot. It's always good to have you pop in here.

2/08/2006 05:05:00 PM  
Blogger Moghal said...

I'm not sure that militaria is necessarily the best way to go about things - after all, we have compulsory attendance at school for several years, and that doesn't manage to teach people anything. The people that succeed in the military are the people that will adapt and conform to that style of - admittedly respectable - life.

The problem stems, I feel, from the imbalance of weight placed on rights and responsibilities. Everyone reads, hears, sees the world talking about everyone's right to this that and the other, and no-one tells them they have an obligation to the same society that guarantees them those rights to actually earn them...

M.

2/08/2006 09:51:00 PM  

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