Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"Ask not what your country can do for you...

...Ask what you can do for your country." Courtesy of John F. Kennedy. Most of my life, until Sunday night on the NBC evening news, I thought that was such an inspiring quote. When I watched the video clip Sunday night, and again Monday, I was not inspired.

When I learned about JFK in the past was inspiring. He encouraged young people to go join the Peace Corp. He gave NASA a huge boost, that inevitably got us to the moon. He helped the civil rights movement gain momentum. Mr. Kennedy got the ball rolling for a number of significant projects.

However, when I watched him speak that quote now I had a totally different feeling. It was as if, instead of asking that my country provide a place where an educated young person can acquire a job, I should volunteer my abilities or my life for the sole profit of my government.

Of course, that's not what he said and not what he meant. However, for the first time I interpreted it that way.  "Ask what you can do for your country." Well, I have always had an interest in aerospace and now I have a greater interest in materials. I have applied for likely over 100 jobs strictly in the aerospace industry. I would prefer to see the United States, my country, continue to be the leader in aerospace technology. From my point of view, that is what I can best do for my country. Does my country want something else from me? What can I do for my country? Please, Uncle Sam, just let me know where you need a hand. I just ask that somehow or other the minimum payments on my tens of thousands of dollars of loans get paid on time.

It's election day. While I have my own feelings as to what this country needs I fear that no matter which candidates I vote for none of them will actually, or at least willfully, address those issues. I hope that they will, but I fear they shan't.

So I'm asking: What can I do for my country? For the sake of clarification I would also like to know: Is that question going to answered by someone else or do I have to figure it out myself?

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