I want to share with you a bit about authentic and meaningful service. It’s something I am extremely passionate about, and it’s something I hope you will become increasingly passionate about too. And while, I cannot articulate all the numerous reasons as to why our imperative moral obligation to serve others less fortunate than ourselves in the 21st century is a non-negotiable, I can share with you these sobering statistics:
- Nearly 1/2 of the world’s population—more than 3 billion people—live on less than $2.50 a day.
- More than 1.3 billion live on less than $1.25 a day, considered extreme poverty.
- There 1 billion children worldwide are living in poverty, and according to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty.
- 805 million people worldwide do not have enough food to eat.
- More than 750 million people lack adequate access to clean drinking water.
Our planet is in need of educated, empathetic and innovative, agents for change—change-makers.
But still, I think it’s reasonable to ask, is there anything preventing us from taking more ownership? If we really stretched our legs in a service capacity, what could that look like in our own community and beyond?
A commitment to compassion can be transformative, as it gives one a powerful story and platform from which to engage the world. Service is not only a moral obligation and the right thing to do but it also helps us become the best version of ourselves. Repeated acts of kindness can be fulfilling, and if they become habitual, you may no longer have to tell your left hand what your right hand is doing. Because you’ll just do it.
But here’s the catch and sobering reality. At some point, faithful service becomes hard, emotionally draining, physically fatiguing, and sometimes, even financially depleting.
So, not if but when you feel confused, helpless or overwhelmed, like what you’re doing doesn’t matter or you’re uncertain you can keep going, remember this:
Authentic and meaningful service executed with discipline and commitment is what counts.
It’s the most important thing of all and if it feels hard, then you’re doing it right. You are becoming a part of lasting change, something bigger than yourself that creates real transformation.
So, make it a goal to not tell your left hand what your right hand is doing because you’re so committed to serving your guts out, so intentional in helping our world that it becomes second nature, a natural extension of yourself.
HERE ARE JUST A FEW EXAMPLES OF HOW SOME OUR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS AT CONCORDIA ARE DOING IT RIGHT.
Dagne Furth is a Concordia high school English teacher with a
penchant for words and a passion for serving others.