Offering service to someone around us is a great way to change your mood from bad to great, to learn how to do something new, to make someone else feel special, and to make the world a brighter place. One of my (many) New Year’s Resolutions is to offer more service to those I can.
Before I get too deep into this, let’s describe what service actually is because I have had several people give me different definitions. Service, per my own definition, is to offer your time, talent, or money to someone in need without expecting anything in return. There are so many ways service can be performed without spending money, but monetary donations help when you have extra funds that you can part with. There are hundreds of thousands of ways anyone can perform service for others.
My kids have walked dogs, helped setup or teardown an activity, taught someone else how to do a karate form, gave someone a hug who really needed it, babysit for someone who just needs a break, done gardening for elderly people who can’t do that any longer, drawn pictures to cheer someone up, and baked cookies for someone ‘just because,’ just for starters. I have had the opportunity to cook meals and cookies for someone in need of cheering up; written nice notes, cards, and emails to brighten someone’s day; donated money to a good cause; offered to give someone a ride; offered free tutoring services; I am currently a University of Phoenix Alumni Mentor; and I serve on the Boy Scouts of America counsel for my church.
No matter what your talent, you can use it to provide a service to someone else who needs it for whatever reason. Teaching, mentoring, giving…these are all ways that service can be performed. This year I have resolved to do each of the following at least one time this year:
- Bake cookies or a meal for someone
- Teach someone something new (i.e. how to use MS Office, how to cook something new, how to organize, how to balance a checkbook, etc.)
- Write a note or email to someone to brighten their day
- Offer to give someone a ride
- Tutor someone on their schoolwork
- Help clean my church building
- Assist at least one stranger with something they are in need of
- Host a Blood Drive (since I can’t give blood)
- Sew a blanket for someone
- Let someone go in front of me in line at the store
This is obviously not an all-inclusive list of the service that I will (or at least will attempt) to offer this year, but I think this is a pretty good start. As you can see, service can take a little or a lot of time and doesn’t necessarily have to include giving money to someone. Just doing something nice for someone can help brighten their day.
In addition, encouraging children (young kids and teenagers) to perform acts of service is a great way to increase their self esteem, show them how to help others selflessly, and puts them on the right path to continue to do good deeds for years to come.
Leave me a comment and tell me what kind of service you are planning for 2013.