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In my mind, the word “service" is synonymous with the act of volunteering such as in “service work"; that is, helping others without the expectation of receiving something in return such as money or a product Naturally, I believe one reason that many individuals perform service work is in order to receive a greater sense of personal satisfaction or self- fulfillment. In my current role as a nurse at a chemical dependency rehabilitation facility, I often have to consider the instructions which many of my patients receive from their counselors related to the 12-step programs of recovery from drugs, alcohol, and gambling.
The ideas of service work and helping newly sober addicts are nearly universal elements in all of these programs, Examples of this may include an individual who has been sober for a considerable length of time giving a ride to an individual who has been recently discharged from treatment to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting or a recovering addict taking time to help a person struggling with drug abuse to understand the Narcotics Anonymous books.
The word “service" also conjures up memories of my days in the Boy Scouts such as when I was required to complete a service project in order to obtain an Eagle Scout rankings I can remember other service opportunities which I participated in with this organization such as when we raked the lawns of elderly community members or when we picked up trash on the highway, In considering the word “justice”, I immediately think of the idea of “criminal justice” such as in bringing those guilty of crimes to justice The fact that my mind makes such an association is likely due in large part to my work history within correctional facilities.
However, I imagine that I am not likely alone in making this mental connection, particularly when considering the many television shows which portray crime scene investigations and courtroom drama which frequently mention terms such as “justice” and “prosecution”. Following a different train of thought, justice to me also suggests equality or fairness among a population such as when the words “justice for all” are recited within the Pledge of Allegiance.
In considering the idea of service as being an act of goodwill performed without expecting something in return, I admittedly do not find myself engaging in nearly as much service I would like to. My multiple roles of student, employee, and parent have resulted in me having very little time to volunteer In any capacity, However, while I do receive monetary compensation for it, I do see my work in an addiction treatment center as a type of service in that I am helping individuals who are finding themselves in chaotic and disordered periods of their lives, To a certain degree, I suppose that I also perform service work by going to visit my grandparents on a regular basis or helping take care of my niece and nephew on occasion I anticipate that my understanding of justice will certainly evolve as a result of this course, however given my current definition of the word, I am not entirely sure how justice is present in my daily life.
One could suggest that I observe justice by treating all of my patients equally and fairly The ideas of equality within the nursing profession remind me of thejob I had at my local county jail. Many of the inmates had been placed in the facility for being accused of heinous crimes, however, the murderers and drunk drivers alike all had an intangible right to be treated respectfully and equally by nursing personnel, and this was something that was frequently difficult to observe when realizing why a particular individual had been incarcerated. I suppose that service and justice played the most important role in my life when I was beginning my own recovery from substance use disorders It was throughout this period that I required the support and guidance from others, particularly family members and those more well—versed in the recovery process than.
During this time, I relied heavily on the services of others including those who worked and volunteered in the treatment and correctional fields, I had also been required to secure employment and eventually decided to return to school and in these instances I needed to be treated justly by potential employers and institutions in order for me to become a productive member of society, Indeed, ifjob opportunities and the school I had gone to had judged me solely on the merits of my past behaviors and record, I would most certainly not be doing what I am today, that is helping those who find themselves in situations not too unlike the ones from my past. Given my current understanding of what justice is, I would conclude that it was most challenged in my life when my father passed away when I was 21 years old, I remember feeling that this was most unfair in that l was still relatively young.
On occasion, I contemplate how my own son will never get the opportunity to get to know his grandfather and how my dad has missed out on all the many joys of grandparemhood, In thoroughly considering my entire life, I cannot think of a time when I had ever felt cheated out of service or when I felt that service was challenged This is particularly true when I reflect on the lives of many of my patients and how many of them have been required to endure truly awful life experiences, including those which took place during their childhood, Certainly, I tend to feel much more grateful when I realize how good life has been to me when compared to the unfortunate events that many others have been asked to withstand I do predict however, that I may have a better answer to the question of service being challenged as I broaden my understanding of what service truly entails.
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