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Public service can take on many forms; needs to be prioritized

By Sara Humm
On February 4, 2011

In his 1961 inaugural address, newly elected President John F. Kennedy said the famous words "And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."

Most people view public service as having a direct connection to being in an elected position. However, public service can mean many more things.

Giving your time to religious group, volunteering at a local organization, spreading the word about a good cause or just helping someone in need are all acts of public service.

Public service can be as big as running for the highest political office; it can also be as small as listening and talking to someone who needs a friend. While there is an abundance of violence and hate in the world, we can still promote peace and love by our actions.

If we lead by example, others will eventually follow. It is also important to teach children the significance of civility and showing them why it is important to help others.

While sometimes we are the ones who need a hand up, the best sense of gratitude is to return the favor when we are back on our feet.

We fulfill acts of public service in everyday life without a second glance; it just may not be labeled as such.

Americans have a call to public service, to help those in need and to treat others how we would want to be treated.

While these acts are regularly seen within our country, it doesn't have to stop there. People in some other countries have seen the worst of the worst. Extreme poverty, war between citizens of the same country, little to no education, limited medical resources, exploitation of women and children, conflicting religious beliefs and little supply of food or clean water.

There are ways to help these people too. Organizations such as the World Health Organization, the Red Cross, Invisible Children and others are dedicated to helping solve these issues.

Whether it is local or international, public service should be a priority.

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