Welcome!

Containers Expo Blog Authors: Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Zakia Bouachraoui, Pat Romanski

Article

Community Service Helps Teen Grow in More Ways than One

Giving back is good for more than just a transcript

 

Dear Dr. Fournier:

My teenage daughter is in the tenth grade.  She is doing well in school, but as the time approaches to look at colleges, I feel she needs to improve her extra curricular activities with some volunteer work. She has always had everything she has ever needed, except understanding of how much she really has.  I am afraid that she is a bit selfish, but does not realize that she is. This year and next summer, I want her to volunteer at a nonprofit organization so that she can learn to help others less fortunate. Do you have any suggestions?

 

Judy D.

Youngstown, OH

 

Dear Judy,

 

THE ASSESSMENT

 

Your letter opens many different issues - the apparent ungratefulness of many affluent teens, a parent's desire to teach appreciation through volunteer efforts, and the judgment that we should "help others less fortunate."

Let's look at these three issues individually as we build a definition that goes beyond simple "volunteering" to the broader concept of "community service" - with an emphasis on serving others.

 

First, a bit of reassurance: You are not the only parent concerned about you teen's apparently selfish phase. They are so caught up with discovering their place in their tiny universe that they determine a thing's relevance to their lives by asking: "So how does this affect me?"

 

Second, as much as we want our teenagers to become caring, concerned and involved in the lives of others, that is not a quality that can be taught as much as it must be learned - and learning life's lessons doesn't always happen within a specific time frame.  In his book The Te of Piglet, Benjamin Hoff makes the observation that “you can’t beat sensitivity into someone, but you can beat it out of them.”  Just because you want your child to volunteer this summer does not mean that she is emotionally prepared for it.

 

Third, the very idea that volunteering is a way to "help others less fortunate" is both judgmental and condescending. No one deserves to be approached with a spirit of "being helped."

 

This is why I believe we should embrace the concept of community service. Service is a union of strengths, with everyone on equal footing. Service requires compassion, but is not judgmental. Service is based on a willingness to learn, and the knowledge that giving also means receiving.

 

Compassion is, at the core, the turning outward of what was formerly attention that was focused only on the self and one’s own needs.  This requires a certain selflessness, or at the very least the awareness that compassion and caring given to others will aid in one’s own growth and actualization.  However, this is merely a byproduct, and should not be the main goal.  If one enters into a relationship of any kind with the intention of achieving some personal gain, then it is not really an act of caring.

 

This awareness is not new.  Many religions in the world also deal with this idea of compassion as being a mark of the development of spiritual (wo)man.  Christianity teaches us to reach out to those in need.  Buddhism places a great emphasis on the development of compassion as a byproduct of the practice.  Hinduism holds that compassion is located at the level of the heart, and marks the birth of spiritual man from animal man.  In short, there is a universal cross cultural affinity for compassion, and it is a worthy attitude to develop.

 

WHAT TO DO

 

You can help your child become psychologically prepared for community service and broaden her scope of what is relevant to her life. Here are a few questions:

 

Why get involved in a community service project? Go back and review what service requires - willingness, compassion, giving and receiving. Your daughter should understand the importance of community service, both for her life and for others. If she just sees this as something she has to do or an activity to fill in time between summer trips or camp, then perhaps she is not yet ready for this opportunity.

 

What can I give - and what can I receive? Help your daughter find opportunities that are best suited for her individual strengths. For example, if she is active in outdoor sports, she may want to become a counselor at a camp for handicapped children. This is what she can give to others, but don't stop there. Have her keep a community service diary in which she identifies the strengths - such as compassion, resilience and perseverance - in each person's life that has been brought out by their different circumstances.

 

How will this affect me? Help your daughter recognize that whenever she finds a strength in others that she does not recognize in herself, she has the opportunity to find that inner strength and develop it. For example, if a young mother has the courage to go to a literacy program to prepare for a job, without any assurance that she will be employed, then your daughter may develop the courage to overcome her own fear in a specific area of her life. As your daughter grows from her community service experiences, so will both her universe and her self-actualization grow as she determines what is relevant to her life.

 

 

CONTACT DR. FOURNIER

 

Have a question about education, education-related issues or your child’s schoolwork or homework? Ask Dr. Fournier and look for her answer in this column. E-mail your question or comment to Dr. Yvonne Fournier at  HYPERLINK "mailto:[email protected]" [email protected].


 

More Stories By Dr. Yvonne Fournier

Dr. Yvonne Fournier is Founder and President of Fournier Learning Strategies. Her column, "Hassle-Free Homework" was published by the Scripps Howard News Service for 20 years. She has been a pharmacist, public health administrator, demographer and entrepreneur. Dr. Fournier, arguably one of the most prolific of educators and child advocates in America today, has followed her own roadmap, calling not just for change or improvement in education but for an entirely new model.

She remains one of the most controversial opponents of the current education system in America.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The platform combines the strengths of Singtel's extensive, intelligent network capabilities with Microsoft's cloud expertise to create a unique solution that sets new standards for IoT applications," said Mr Diomedes Kastanis, Head of IoT at Singtel. "Our solution provides speed, transparency and flexibility, paving the way for a more pervasive use of IoT to accelerate enterprises' digitalisation efforts. AI-powered intelligent connectivity over Microsoft Azure will be the fastest connected pat...
There are many examples of disruption in consumer space – Uber disrupting the cab industry, Airbnb disrupting the hospitality industry and so on; but have you wondered who is disrupting support and operations? AISERA helps make businesses and customers successful by offering consumer-like user experience for support and operations. We have built the world’s first AI-driven IT / HR / Cloud / Customer Support and Operations solution.
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Druva is the global leader in Cloud Data Protection and Management, delivering the industry's first data management-as-a-service solution that aggregates data from endpoints, servers and cloud applications and leverages the public cloud to offer a single pane of glass to enable data protection, governance and intelligence-dramatically increasing the availability and visibility of business critical information, while reducing the risk, cost and complexity of managing and protecting it. Druva's...
BMC has unmatched experience in IT management, supporting 92 of the Forbes Global 100, and earning recognition as an ITSM Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for five years running. Our solutions offer speed, agility, and efficiency to tackle business challenges in the areas of service management, automation, operations, and the mainframe.
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, compared the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, examin...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
DSR is a supplier of project management, consultancy services and IT solutions that increase effectiveness of a company's operations in the production sector. The company combines in-depth knowledge of international companies with expert knowledge utilising IT tools that support manufacturing and distribution processes. DSR ensures optimization and integration of internal processes which is necessary for companies to grow rapidly. The rapid growth is possible thanks, to specialized services an...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...