It’s a weird world we live in when the worst punishment people get before jail sentence is community service. It’s like the thing you force stuck up socialites to do , the thing you might remember to do on very Special Occasions. It’s also sometimes the kind of thing that companies and celebrities do for Photo ops and free publicity.
Service is kind of the thing you do… when either you get something out of it or when you have to do it. We generally associate serving others and charity with money. Throw an elegant banquet and get enough money for those poor people in …. you fill in the blank. But really, what guarantees do we have that this will get to the right person? Are we taking any responsibility for it? So here I am going to list some reasons why service is good not only for others but for ourselves as well.
Service means sacrifice and thinking of others before yourself
I am not going to lie, getting up at the crack of dawn to see 35 junior youth was sometimes hard. But you know what? The rewards are sometimes just as good. I was greeted by 35 teens rushing to hug me at the crack of dawn! So happy to see me. And some of them were coming two hours away , by bus to get to the school . And for them it was not a sacrifice but a privilege. It really put my life in perspective.
The best types of service are those that no one knows about
Ok, this is a hard one. But there are thousands of things you can do on a daily basis for others which would brighten up their day. The less credit you get, the more it isn’t about your own ego. Remember that scene with Phoebe on Friends where she couldn’t find a ” selfless” act of kindness? It’s probably true. Still, the less fuss you make about it the better
Sometimes small things on a local level are much more sustainable than large grandiose gestures
We often tend to think of things in great events. But really, a small act of service like bringing chicken soup to your neighbor when she’s sick or offering to tutor the kids who live nearby or even listening to a lonely woman in the park… those things make a huge difference in someone’s life. Check out this girl who decided to send letters to complete strangers and the effect it had
If we did small things that are sustainable, over time they become projects and little by little they become something bigger. Not focusing on the big picture can help
Service helps us realize we are not alone
By helping others, we are focusing on things other than ourselves, and ironically that’s how we grow the most. We develop generosity, and humility, and love and purity of purpose. We can love all of God’s creatures and feel empowered that we are making a little bit of a difference in this world!
When we think of the simple question : How can I make the world around me a better place? We start to think of those small things that can create change. But don’t think you will be the caped crusader who will swoop in to save the day, you are a part of a whole universe that can help each other save the world.