We all affect eternity, as we never know where our influence ends. Each generation is called to pass onto our children what is best from the past, while remaining open to new teachings envisioning a world of compassion for all humankind.
Erwin and Reynolds high schools and other local schools include the U.S. Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program. On the surface, it reflects sound educational goals in developing citizenship, leadership, self-esteem and team building, along with other goals building military skills.
Personally, I say “No” to the militarization of our youth despite good intentions. We can do better than that with the ideals that reflect peace or at least make war less likely. There are programs with educational goals of building self-esteem claimed by the JROTC; not as glamorous or as exciting as wearing a uniform, but powerful in the effort to bring a better understanding of good citizenship, reconciliation, creativity, empathy and compassion. These ideals emphasize what is best in humankind.
Educational programs throughout the USA address serving the wider community: peacemakers, conscientious objectors and the great thinkers, artists and philosophers — emphasizing the awesome nature of humankind — not a perfect world, but a better world that helps us to respond to the difficulties with a more positive view and faith in humankind.
I’m impressed with the intelligence and insights of our youth. My advice to them is to go to college with the motivation to engage in learning that brings a larger purpose to life than a military career. Read and learn biographies of the giants whose shoulders we stand on.
Change will come from outside politics when we the people demand funding of our schools on a level that goes into JROTC. We can include history, science, the arts and community programs to create an awareness in peacemaking, conscientious objectors and the great thinkers, artists and philosophers who make life worth living, emphasizing the awesome nature of humankind.
— Ed Sacco