Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Community Service

This may be a big assumption, but I assume every one of you have participated in community service sometime in your life. I don't mean the kind the judge makes you serve for a criminal act but one for the greater good of mankind and to give back some of what you have been given.

As a teacher and a parent I take pride in seeing my children and my students performs acts of community service. I noticed one last Saturday when I attended the auction in Clermont County and enjoyed the Farmers Share Breakfast with former students.

I posted his picture as Farm Bureau president on Facebook where many of his classmates are my so-called "friends." Not a one of them pushed the Like button or left a comment! That kind of befuddled me. Are they jealous or too lazy to perform community service like him? Has the days of giving back turned to me, me, me?

I gave all I had and trying to pay forward before my death. I can't do too much for all the good that has been done for me. I served on the school board like my dad and grandpa did. Like them, I was asked to run, did so, got elected and served. It wasn't easy. In fact it was very hard balancing work and family and community service. My family suffered for it some, I don't know how much. But, working together we accomplished great things. Three of my former students now serve on that same board.

I do take great pride in their accomplishments and tell them so. One building was just recognized as one of the very best schools in the United States at a ceremony with the President. I remember fighting for the choice of principals and two of my board members did not agree with my support for him. It was petty politics in my mind but better minds prevailed and look what happened many years later from doing the right thing.

In FFA, advisors train students to think and perform "the right way." FFA will always be one of my favorite charities for all the great work they do. I like working with those kids from picking up trash along the road to seeing them win a trophy at the Annual Parent Member Banquet.

I always took John F. Kennedy's challenge, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country," very seriously. These young people dying in our military with no declared war take it extremely seriously.

Are we afraid of a little community service?

Ed Winkle


  1. Here's the truth about "Kennedy's" famous quote:

    Actually, I once read that Gabran also stole it from one of the early Greek philosophers!

  2. Thanks, Gorges! It sure has been an often quoted statement in my lifetime! I believe in it and tried to live by it, too.