TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

Civic duty as rite of passage

It's Eriksonian, our children are adrift after high school. There is no rite of passage. There is obesity, sense of entitlement, and lack of cohesion and direction. I think that high school should extend for one year and all students should be required to complete a challenging course on civics and participate in their choice of service duty. Mini military camp, (not to become a killing machine but to learn why it is their duty as an America to defend not offend). Science, Arts and Humanities, local volunteer program, etc... The kids today need to know and understand the tenets of the Constitution, to understand what it means to become a full fledged American and appreciate the quality of life that only a free people can enjoy. In order to do this, to shape their experience and transition successfully into adulthood, they need to have a rite of passage that challenges them, encourages them to be a part of something worthwhile that is greater than themselves. They need to work with their peer to achieve a challenging goal that instills the values the founders laid out in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America. This might change our political landscape from a money hungry bloated big brother, big daddy state to more of a by the people for the people kind of land.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Jul 4 2013: I agree that character training out of civic duty is a worthy activity--to share your talents and skills in the interest of public service. Seems to me we should learn desire to service. Desire and love rises to a higher level than duty. Humankind deserves better than just conscription for service.

    Public service in some form that increases potential for good relationships, even love for our fellows. The US Peace Corps is a worthy concept. Volunteerism in the interest of service for the betterment of all is a high and noble act of will. What's left if there is no sensitivity to others is selfishness and self centeredness. Would you agree?

    Persons, families, communities, states and provinces and whole nations benefit from service and when love is a predominant feature in relationships, the whole planet will progress to peace.

    I agree with the direction of your rationale, Jennifer. Personal character training that results in people forgiving wrongs, helping others to love, helping cultures to evolve to higher ideals cannot be dismissed as superficial, but can be seen by willing servants as deeply satisfying.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.