by Tamara A.
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Think about it…there’s a lot on our plates these days: work, maybe school, family, family problems, friends, friends’ problems, what to wear, what to eat, where to go tonight, plus there is that movie that you wanted to go see and that game where you might join your friends. It’s a lot to take in and deal with every day, every week.
While I approached this with a sarcastic tone, I’m a victim of it, just as much as the next person. We get preoccupied with all of our trivial worries of daily life. Lots of times the little things start to feel like bigger issues and it becomes overwhelming. Our tunnel vision turns on. We focus on our lives, our struggles, and fail to look beyond that.
These bubbles that we create around ourselves can be difficult to penetrate at times. But when that happens, when we take a step back from everything directly in front of our faces and start to look at our daily battles in the grand scheme of things, we are able to make profound realizations about what’s important. Realizing that there is a whole world out there with people who have bigger battles to fight and larger obstacles to overcome is the first step. Let yourself be humbled. Let yourself take a moment to see how blessed you are. And then let yourself recognize how you are able to bless the lives of others as well.
Service has been a part of my life forever. I grew up in a tight-knit Catholic community where there were service opportunities waiting around every corner. It was something that my parents encouraged (and often forced) me to participate in from early grade school. Once I left home to go to college, I didn’t have anyone strongly pushing me towards these activities and projects. But I missed it. I felt a longing to do something more with my time and began to get involved with service organizations on campus. That fulfillment returned.
Looking outside of ourselves and focusing on the needs of others is a powerful thing and can be done in so many ways. Whether a person decides to volunteer at a soup kitchen once a month, take a volunteer trip across the world or simply stop by your elderly neighbor’s house every week to check on them and talk, we can make a difference in someone’s life. Isn’t that an amazing thought?!
I’m issuing a challenge to you and to myself. Let’s all dedicate some time to others. It doesn’t have to be a large commitment. Try checking out local service opportunities. Get involved in your community. Perhaps dedicate a few weeks by taking a service trip to a developing country. Whatever it may be, just take that step. It’s such a rewarding experience. I promise.