The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
— Mahatma Ghandi
DECEMBER 5 - INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEER DAY #VOLUNTEERDAY
Service is the rent you pay for your place on earth. I’m not sure who said it first, but I heard it from a friend and mentor of mine a few years back. Service has been a through line for me in my adult life. In the careers that I have had and in my personal choices. It is, I believe, what we are here for. We are created to create, and that creation is often if not always, in the service of others.
Whether it is to solve a problem through innovation or to create solutions that empower others to pay it forward, the service of others is, in fact, how we love each other. It is how we fulfill our purpose. Some of us do those things for profit - most commercial transactions are really just an exchange of money for the solution to some problem. Where service has the most power is in serving others without reward.
Or, I should say the expectation or demand for a reward. The truth is that you will always receive a reward in return for your service. But it will be an intangible reward, one that will fill your cup as much, if not more than those you serve. Regardless of how you choose to serve others I would challenge you today to look forward to 2021 and see where you can volunteer. It’s easy to write a check or click a link and put in a credit card number. And that act has value. If you want to truly understand the impact however, you need to get close. You need to give of your time.
You see, time is an asset that once given, you can’t get back. I can grow food. I can make money. I cannot grow time, create time, or manipulate time in my favor. So once I’ve given you an hour, a day, a week. It is gone. And the impacts of those experiences within that hour, that day or that week, will be ones that will reward you most.
So let me also take a moment to say thank you to the volunteers out there today doing the work and getting their hands dirty. You know more than anyone how impactful it has been on your community and how much it has filled your cup.