Everyone can be great because everyone can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t even have to make your subject and your verb agree… You only need a heart full of grace…a soul generated by love.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.
I just returned home after two physically hard back breaking weeks of work. I left my teenage daughter for two weeks and missed her so much, but I had a job to do. An important one.
I was not at my desk answering emails or talking strategy with a colleague, I was in a warehouse organizing supplies to go to Haiti. I spent this time with hundreds of volunteers who gave their time and energy to help families in need. Families that were getting wet everyday, as the rains have started in Haiti. At the end of these two weeks we had tangible products that will help thousands of families. THOUSANDS. Last week I had someone ask me why I do what I do. Here is my answer.
Service for me is HOLY. Unselfish compassion and love for another human being is beautiful, and its my religion. My personal problems, pain, issues and petty worries were swept away as tarps were rolled and goggles were unpacked. There was joy in that warehouse and prayers of love lifted as each shelter kit was created. I saw, life and humanity at its best. Strangers laughed, and talked, connected and encouraged. Community was built. The timid and the tired were proud of what we achieved, proud to be apart of something bigger than their everyday existence. Humbled with gratitude for all that they have in their own lives. This warehouse was my church and everyday was Sunday.
Service for me is HEALING. Each and every human has the capacity to change the world. If you are suffering – do something about it. If you are cheerful – do something about it. Simply put – have a faith response to your circumstance. Each of us are called to participate in this life. Not just our own life but our brother’s and sister’s lives as well. We do not get to use up resources and not give back. Faith without proper action is ineffective. Service is that action. Its the action that takes you out of your narrow existence and opens your heart. It raises your spirit.It makes you wiser. It grants you grace.
Service for me is LEADERSHIP. There is not anything worth achieving that does not take a piece of your soul. Nothing. Leadership is being willing to be accountable for the well being of the people you are working with and for, by operating in service to them. It means cheerleading, championing and coaching. Leadership, like service at its most basic level is love. Leaders care passionately about what they do and the people they do it with. I see service in the same way. Its just as powerful for the person engaged in service as the person who benefits from the service. It engages people in productive conversations that increases collective intelligence, commitment and creativity.
My feet and back will eventually recover, but my spirit has never been as healthy or as whole. So to answer the question of why I do what I do, its simple.
Service is Sacred.