Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Reminder to be Grateful

After class yesterday, I had a thought provoking conversation with a classmate. I asked him what his plans were for after graduation. His response surprised me. He explained to me that upon graduation he was required to serve in the military for two years. He expressed his frustration with being compelled to commit two years of his life to something that he was less than thrilled about. To be completely honest, I was not aware that South Korea imposed involuntary military service. As I listened, I could not help but think about how difficult it would be to work hard through college knowing that your only reward upon completion would be two years of forced service in the armed forces. And to think, I find it hard enough to stay motivated in college, even with the promise of a career doing something I love...

I am not saying that service in the armed forces is not admirable or even desirable--in fact I believe it is most commendable and I honor those who do it. I am simply grateful that, for the most part, those who decide to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces made the deliberate choice to do so because of their love for their country--not because they were forced  by some government program.