Joining the military seems like it could be a bit extreme…there would definitely be some benefits, but I’m having a hard time imagining that they’d outweigh the risks involved. But perhaps when there’s a shortage of suitable alternatives, the risks become more worthwhile. I actually considered it briefly, myself, after I’d dropped out of Bradley but before I’d gone back to school. My hiatus lasted only one year, but it seemed like a long, long year, and I felt rather desperate from time to time. I’m sure that a person could learn lots of very useful things in the military, both practical tools that could be taken into a career, and character stuff that could be used in personal development. I might just be an easier, softer way kind of guy 🙂
on a side-note, I just want to point out that I resent the idea a little bit that “serving one’s country” is synonymous with “joining the military,” as if that’s the only way someone could serve his or her country. I will readily agree that the people who serve in the military play an integral role in carrying out the work of our government, I think that people should be aware that folks who speak up, raise awareness, and educate are doing another very crucial public service, without compensation from our federal reserves (or, in the case of our schools’ teachers, with minimal support from our tax dollars). It might be possible that strapping on a gun could potentially be a patriotic action, but that does not mean that there aren’t other ways to enhance the quality of life in our country.
And my final bit of wisdom on the matter: considering that people all throughout the world want the same thing—to experience joy and avoid suffering—the whole “country” designation seems rather artificial. We’re all just people trying to take care of ourselves and our loved ones. It seems like going abroad with first aid kits and boxed lunches would do a lot more good for our nation’s security than going abroad with guns. Nations with healthy, well-fed citizens tend to produce a lot fewer terrorists. Here in the US we eat so much that we tip the scales, and still we throw out more food per capita than some nations consume. They don’t hate us because some of us love Jesus, and they don’t hate us ’cause some of us (the ill-equipped ones) drive Hummers. They hate us ’cause we killed their parents to take their oil to sell to ourselves so we could be rich enough to drive Hummers and eat three-quarters of a super-sized order of french fries and toss the rest in the street.
Okay. That was just in case any of you forgot how much I hate freedom.