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Service {Fresh New Year}

{Kristen Laczi for Society 6}

We often honor Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy with service.  On this Monday each year, church, community, and school groups go out and do good works, and the community, and no matter how large or small the project, we are all better for it.  

Reverend King was a peaceful presence who did so much good during what was a difficult time in America {to say the least} and, though it’s different, we also live in what can be considered a difficult time today.  His dream is still relevant today.  But despite the challenges and disappointments we face, we cannot deny that we live in a wonderful country, filled with communities and people that also do so much good for so many people, both here in the US and abroad.

I’ve talked a lot about how I think January is a good time to set intentions for the year, and how it’s not important to start off the month and near year having everything already ‘figured out.’  I think it’s better, actually, to take these early days to really think and ‘feel’ what it is you’d like this year to hold for you.  

This month, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’d like to give back.  How I’d like to ‘serve’ others.  I’m fortunate to do the work that I do {in a school} every day, and I do feel like I am able to serve students and their families.  

But I could do more.  

I’m inspired by people who think outside the box.  People who face extraordinary obstacles in order to help others.  People who don’t let barriers like geography and language prevent them from really putting themselves out there for others.  People who’s successful businesses not only provide profit for themselves but a ‘piece of the pie’ for those in need.  People who ‘think big,’ yet never underestimate the significance of helping even just one person.  

This year, I’d like to be one of these people.  I want to ‘think big’ in the realm of service.  If January is the month of ‘setting intentions,’  I’d like to put these out into the universe.  This year, I’d like to put into action these ideas that I’ve had in my head for a while.  With regards to service, these are the dreams that I have for this year:

  • I’d like to give more of myself locally, and on a regular basis.  It’s not all about giving money.  Donating money is great {and really helpful}, but giving your time can be just as valuable.  There are so many fabulous organizations to volunteer with, it’s just a matter of finding one that matches with how you can give your best heart.
  • I’d like to do something globally.  I am not naïve to the fact that, as a woman born in America, there are significant advantages and opportunities that I have access to that many women aren’t lucky enough to enjoy.  These advantages include learning to read and the opportunity to attend school, for starters.  My background in education also leaves a special place in my heart for children.  I’d like to become more educated as to how I can contribute to women and children’s causes in other parts of the world.  My ultimate dream?  Building a school in Africa, or having my small business – in some way – provide employment opportunities for women to increase their independence and provide for their own families.  ‘Dream big,’ right?
  • I’d like to think small.  Small acts of kindness shouldn’t be underestimated.  Giving money to put in a student’s lunch account, or giving clothes to a family, or providing a grocery store gift card isn’t hard and it doesn’t take ‘a lot’ to make a difference. I get frustrated by donating money to causes or corporations that I really can’t see if my donation is even doing anything positive.  There are probably more opportunities to give to an actual person or family in our ‘everyday’ than we even realize.  
  • I’d like to do something for animals and the environment.  A few years ago, I volunteered at a dog shelter, and it’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever done.  I’d really like to do something like that again.  And I think we can all agree, with evidence of global warming and such, that conservation of this planet in any way is certainly a priority.  

This is a lot, I know.  And I can’t do everything, or get started on all of these right away.  But my hope is that by writing them down, I can at least think more clearly and figure out where and how to start something.  That’s what I’d like to do in 2018 – just start somewhere.  Tell me, how do you give, back?  How do you serve others?  How would you like to do good in the world?  

 



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