a period of compulsory service in the armed forces during peacetime (phased out in the UK by 1963).
I grew up during a time and in a place where national service was no longer enforced in my country and on my generation.
I heard of other countries where they were forced to spend some time, at some age, in the Armed forces and in the service of their country.
Back then I felt tremendous releif that I had not been forced to go into some awkward communal living and learning how to shoot things and do all those stereotypical things that we think our armed forces do…looking back, perhaps I would have valued from the social exposure and discipline at that stage? Perhaps.
As I sit her today I have these thoughts about what if?…
What if national service was reintroduced? How would we feel about it? How would we react?
Many countries still have such practices (Israel and Finland) but what is the thinking behind these requirements?
Is the only purpose for national service the protections and defense of a country?
Could there be a benefit for introducing national service into any and all areas of helping our country? Hospitals? Parks? Councils? Environment? Animal protection? Homeless? Police? Paramedics? Child care?
Would things like this make us better people and better citizens?
I can’t help but think it could.
It’s strange that as we get older and experience more of life we see the needs of others just as clearly as we see our own needs.
I would have valued from the experiences that this kind of national service, and the chance to find such mentors who have first hand knowledge of how to care for something more than themselves… A TRUE national service.