Lately, I’ve been writing scholarship essays. Fun stuff, right? 😉
Well, I though you guys might find this one interesting. The question was, “What is the importance of civic engagement and service learning?”
“Civic engagement” and “service learning” are good practices in themselves, but they seem to be associated with progressive education and possibly socialism. In my essay, I answered the question, while making my opinion clear. Let me know what you think!
Civic engagement and service learning are valuable assets to society. Both activities can dramatically change the thoughts and actions of their participants, as well as help people in need.
Civic engagement, defined by Wikipedia as “any individual or group activity addressing issues of public concern,” should be important in everyone’s lives. To participate in civic engagement, a person should follow the Golden Rule, found in the Bible verse Matthew 7:12: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you: do ye even so to them.” For example, a form of civic engagement is fund-raising; if you were in deep financial need, would you not be grateful to people for helping you? According to the Golden Rule, it follows that you should help someone else with a financial need.
Unselfishness is the basis of civic engagement, and unselfishness benefits every person involved. It creates a moral atmosphere in which limited government thrives, for people who govern themselves by curbing selfish tendencies don’t need as much outer government. Civic engagement calls people to do what’s best for everyone, whether that be by voting, community service, volunteering, contacting officials about important issues, or any number of other avenues. If every person cared about those around them and wanted to make the world a better place, the world would become a much better place in which to live.
Service learning, similar to civic engagement, is defined by Wikipedia as “an educational approach that combines learning objectives with community service.” Service learning brings knowledge and experience to students while providing practical help to those in need. While civic engagement and service learning may overlap, service learning mainly focuses on students engaging in community service and internships. Practicing service learning can help students gain practical experience, work hard, serve, and create an unselfish perspective; service learning helps others through the service performed for them. Whether the project is an internship or volunteer work, students can improve their character, skills, and general life wisdom.
When everyone in a community helps others, everyone benefits, for service to others can bring joy to the giver and the receiver. However, because people are sinful, we naturally put ourselves first. We must remember that we cannot overcome our selfish natures through our own efforts. We may suppress selfishness for a while, but we truly need God’s help. Civic engagement and service learning are wonderful avenues to make a positive difference; for that difference to last, we need God.
But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? – 1 John 3:17
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. – James 1:27