On the Nature of Service

Thursday, March 19, 2009
I come from a family that has a tradition of service.

That service has taken many forms, depending on the individual. Some joined the military. Some served in law enforcement. Some donated time or money to charities. All of us are informed voters, although we vary widely on the political spectrum.

The only commonality is the idea that you really needed to pay for the piece of earth you're sitting on, and take some personal responsibility for the society in which you live. You do that not by accumulating "stuff," but by making your community (however you define it) a better place.

Because I was raised to value service, I have tried to instill the same idea in the Smart Twins. Some days I think the idea has "taken," other days, not so much. Teens can be remarkably inconsistent, and they're really not fully baked until they're about thirty, in my opinion.

I also recognize that not every family has the same tradition, or places the same value in service. And that's okay - it takes all kinds to contribute to a diverse, interesting and free society. It's not up to me to tell others how they should spend their time, money or professional effort.

But if you want to get me fucking wrapped around the axle and encourage me to stab you in the eye with a fork, disrespect the service of someone else.

Whatever type of service someone chooses, their sacrifice is worthy of respect. Even if you think they're a complete and total asswipe in every other aspect of their life, the fact is that they chose to serve others in some capacity. Such a decision and commitment deserves respect, providing the service is honorable. To withhold your respect, or worse, to devalue their contribution to our society out of spite or ignorance, makes you a complete and utter douchebag. Who deserves to be stabbed in the eye with a fork.

9 comments:

Jim Wright said...

Hmmm, what prompted this? I wonder, I wonder.

Well, said. And not verbose at all.

neurondoc said...

It is verbose. It should have been 30 words or less.

What?

Carol Elaine said...

"People who serve totally rock. People who diss people who serve suck pointy rocks."

That was fourteen words. Natalie, do I get a cookie?

I still like the way Janiece said it better, though. Well written.

neurondoc said...

Carol, you and Janiece both rock. And y'all know my feelings on the subject. I married one...

Jim Wright said...

I married one...

One what? A rock?



(Tell your husband I said that. A rock, specifically a code rock, has special meaning for him. Stand back though when you tell him bawahahahaha!)

brianna said...

"But if you want to get me fucking wrapped around the axle and encourage me to stab you in the eye with a fork, disrespect the service of someone else. "

That's so awesome, I wish I'd written it...

Janiece Murphy said...

Thanks, Brianna.

Steve Buchheit said...

If Glenn Beck believes he is doing his show out of a sense of "service to the nation" (you know, and not some narcissistic need) and I make fun of him and say in public I wish he would go back to drinking, does that also make me a douchebag? I can live with it, but I just had my every decade eye exam and I really don't want to be stabbed with a fork.

Janiece Murphy said...

Steve, service in this context sort of implies "service to others" rather than "serving your own self-interest."

Your eye is safe.