Thursday, September 20, 2007

Time Magazine focuses on service

The September 10 issue of Time Magazine featured a cover story and lots of juicy articles about service/volunteerism, including a call from the magazine's editor for the federal government to create ways for every American to devote a year of their life to service.

If you go to Time Magazine's web site, you can connect to a podcast featuring Caroline Kennedy and author Jeff Sachs. They discuss lots of issues, including the notion of mandatory national service, the current surge in interest in volunteerism among Americans, and the value of serving abroad. A few highlights and questions this podcast raised for me:

Is it better to volunteer abroad or closer to home (and does "closer to home" mean in the U.S., in a neighborhood in your area that's less well off than yours, or right in your own backyard)?

Should national service be mandatory? How do we Americans feel about the word "mandatory"?

Did you know that 1/3 of Americans, around 65 million, say that they volunteer regularly? I wonder if this is more or less than other countries...

Jeff Sachs talked about the "shock and dismay" over the situation in Iraq leading Americans to ask themselves what they can do to contribute positively to the world. Do you think this is on the mark?

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