Our opinion: Growing citizens

It’s something you won’t find on curriculum lists. It is seldom, if ever, a major discussion at school board meetings.

And yet, it’s something that is an important part of a child’s development into adulthood, a learned activity immeasurably important to the community in which that adult will live.

Volunteers represent important vertebrae in the backbone of any community. From volunteer firefighters and emergency medical technicians to people who deliver meals to shut-ins, they not only save us financially by performing necessary services that a government would otherwise tax you to pay for, they enhance the spirit of community.

So, how does society instill in its youth the selflessness, the compassion, the sense that helping others who need aid can be personally fulfilling?

And, how do you do it with so many outside influences that seem to promote further immersion into the me-first-me-only lifestyle?

There is no Volunteerism 101 class in the educational system, and frankly, if there was, it probably wouldn’t be as successful as the more informal coaxing that puts students to work in libraries, churches and countless other venues where their youth and their earnestness is put to work and encouraged.

This is the time of year when high school graduates hear speeches about their future as they contemplate what lies before them after the somewhat sequestered life they’ve led so far. There is no diploma, no formal certificate to collect for the volunteerism many of these students have learned, but allow us to encourage them to cultivate that spirit.

We’re relying on them to carry on the good work for their generation and pass it on to the next.