Saturday, January 28, 2017

"Service creates opportunities to bridge the divides"


Eric Tanenblatt, a Republican and former Senate-confirmed vice chairman of the board of the Corporation for National and Community Service, recently wrote an opinion piece in The Hill about volunteering.  The Daily Prism has excerpted a few quotes from Tenenblatt's opinion "National Service, Not Government, Will Make America Great." The Daily Prism is an apolitical blog, and finds that valid opinion about service to each other is one of the keys to well-being.

Just as past presidents have, Mr. Trump can leverage this turbulent moment by summoning, as President Abraham Lincoln once said, the better angels of our nature in a national call to service.

The values of duty, honor, and country transcend partisanship--just ask the Republicans who served in the administration of President Barack Obama and the Democrats who auditioned for Mr. Trump's--but one need not seek office or military commission to serve.

President John F. Kennedy entered office in 1961 having won the closest presidential election in almost fifty years. The nation had just limped through a recession and would presently barrel its way through the tumult of the civil rights movement.

Yet in spite of the nation's searing divisions, Kennedy used his inaugural address to urge Americans to access individually within us that which sets us collectively apart: the innate American eagerness to serve. "And so, my fellow Americans," he said, "ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."

National service builds better communities by building better, more civically invested citizens. Service creates opportunities to bridge the divides that separate us, to find common ground in the greatness of our people. Government won't make America great, but her people in common cause, in common service, can and will.

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