Thursday, October 2, 2008

No Glamor

It’s Service Thursday again.

Today let’s talk about glamorous service – a topic a friend suggested we discuss.

You know what I’m talking about – the kind of service that takes you far away, to other places. Feeding orphans in third-world countries. Building schools. Joining the Peace Corps.

These things are wonderful ways to serve others. Such service is fulfilling and very self-rewarding, not to mention what the beneficiaries of such service get out of it.

Why am I talking about glamorous service?

Am I going to challenge you to book a trip to Kenya?

No. Not at all.

I bring it up because sometimes when we think we want to have an impact on the world, we think about doing something really big and important.

But, you know what?

You can do something big. You can do something important. You can even do it close to home and still make a very positive impact on the world.

You can even do something small and important. Small and simple service is – well – small and simple.

Stop and think for a moment. Who is in your neighborhood? Who lives across the street? Who works down the block? Who moved in around the corner from you? Who is a single mom that needs some down time?

Could they use your help?

Would they appreciate someone coming over to just say hello? Could you take some fresh-baked bread? How about a plate of store-bought cookies? While you’re there, could you maybe offer to help rake their leaves?

Could they use a hand with a broken fence? Would they appreciate an invitation to Sunday dinner with you and your family? How about just sending over your favorite dish for their Sunday dinner?

Can you find someone to serve this week who lives near you? Can you encourage your family or close friends to help you? Can you do it without making the served feel like they are a service project?

Is there a woman’s shelter or homeless shelter in your vicinity? Can you and your friends or family gather used clothing, books and kitchenware to donate?

Remember, service doesn’t need to be glamorous. In fact, when it is, it often draws attention to the one serving.

Can you serve without glamour?

Can you serve without fanfare?

Can you think of some other small and simple way to serve your neighbors?

I bet you can.

I know you can.

How do I know?

Because the people who read this are good people. You like taking care of each other. You know that you don’t need recognition or awards or fanfare to do something nice.

You just do it.

Because it’s the right thing to do.

And for that, I thank you – sincerely.

As always, please pass it on.

James

4 comments:

Sugar said...

I'm crying... right now... that is so touching. I have been on the receiving end of "small services" once or twice in my life. They were the moments that were emblazoned on my heart. I have never forgotten the kindnesses of friends and neighbors.

Thank you... for calling me friend.

Corina said...

Small services: impact directly to the community in which you live. What could be better.

Some ideas:
I used to take score for Special Olympics Bowling EVERY Sunday.

Bring dinner to a sick neighbor.

Clean up a park.

Help an elderly or hurt person in the grocery store.

Provide aide to those affected by fire.

Visit a nursing home.

There is so much more. We forget those around us in times like this when things come crashing down. What we need to realize is when we give, we receive. And it doesn't have to be glam. Don't put it off to when you get to travel abroad to help. Help now, and see the ripple effect in your own community.

jess said...

i like to give my friends a night off from their kids when i can - our children are friends and they can have "adult time."

recently, i rewrote a friend's resume. as wonderful and intelligent as she is, resumes aren't her thing. i accept no payment.

i regularly give items away on freecycle. i share bulk purchases with neighbors.

giving is something i absolutely love to do. thanks for the reminder.

Auds at Barking Mad said...

Small services add up...something I've learned my entire life. They often make a bigger impact on those served than we'd ever imagine.

This is a beautiful post on what is sometimes an overlooked kindness.