One For the Time Capsule

Dear Son,

It’s late 2008, and I don’t suppose you’ll be reading this before 2018 or so. But if Washington is still mandating “voluntary” community service from high school and college students at that late date, I’d like you to keep a couple things in mind.

Try to perform your service in good cheer, and if you’re allowed, try to do something you’ll be proud of. But do not ever allow your government or your teachers to make you think you somehow owe them your time of effort. Those belong to you, to you only, and anyone who tells you anything different is a con artist.