Community service may, if performed at a satisfactory level, help narrow the wealth inequality, thereby slowly helping the restoration of social justice. Community service on the frontlines of inequality (soup kitchen, homeless shelter, etc.) opens our eyes to life on the other side of our wide wealth spectrum and instills a sense of humanity and morals into many millennials to continue fighting for human rights of the underprivileged throughout our lives.
One way community service helps social justice is that it gives the volunteers a sense of pride that no one can take away from them. They may proudly say to peers that they can’t make plans as they are occupied with such a task that leaves them wanting more and more of this feeling. They feeling of arriving home, knowing someone out there is better off thanks to you can leave you wanting to help more people. It hen helps them to notice inequalities and keep fighting, or helping the fight, for justice. If a whole generation has a mindset with similar emotions filling them, many human rights can be restored by the time a new generation takes our place in politics, business and the social environment. Facing millennials with inequalities like homelessness and poverty means they can’t pull a ‘get out of jail free card’ saying they were unaware of the extent, as they have seen it first-hand. This can pressure future millionaires and billionaires to give money and resources to the social cause, or even if they don’t grow up to be extremely wealthy they can have guilt persuade them into making donations throughout their life.
Community service can also work to rehabilitate criminals who do not have social justice and protection of human rights on their strengths. Keeping them occupied with community service does keep them off the streets and makes them aware of the trouble they can cause to others. The nature of the service can also link to the sanctioned offence, while instilling a sense of responsibility in the offender to not follow the same path again.
Not everyone agrees on the reliability of community service as a punishment and rehabilitation of criminals or to present inequalities to children of privileged backgrounds. According to one BBC article, “Undercover footage of criminals drinking tea and smoking illegal drugs has led to criticism that community service is like a “holiday camp”. The author of a Time article wrote,” The real issue is what this practice does to service itself. It broadcasts an image of community work as unpleasant and to be avoided – something that in fact must be compelled.” Other sources also agree that many students pay no regard to the people around them while performing service, but instead just try to get the job done and go back to their normal, comfortable life.
In conclusion, I believe community service can help with social justice causes, but only with supervision from others wanting to help, otherwise students and felons alike just want to put their head down and finish the work.
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