So many professions involve serving others, and so much of life outside of work can (and probably should) revolve around serving others as well. When we consider professions like teaching, customer service, waiting tables, domestic help, nonprofit organization work, retail service, the food industry, religious ministry and more, a large part of our interactions with others day by day rely on their service to us. Without them we would feel lost and it would be difficult to navigate in our world without their presence and much-needed assistance.
Then as we consider how our discretionary time is spent, we come up with a laundry list of possible ways to serve others such as coaching, helping the needy, parenting, volunteering at nonprofit and religious organizations, responding to regional crises and so-called “acts of God,” neighborhood watches, advocacy initiatives, etc.
Service to others doesn’t have to be through a formal organization or program. It can just be you finding a need and filling it in your neighborhood or anywhere else on the globe. No one else even needs to know about it.
What happens when you decide to stop living life so much for yourself and focus instead on what good you can do for others? You leave a much more significant footprint along your path – one that isn’t easily forgotten by the next day’s tide that washes the memories or benefits away. Rather, you leave an imprint on the hearts of those you serve with love, respect and compassion. And you leave an equal imprint on your heart to match. That is more lasting and meaningful for everyone, though impossible to measure.
I realize that early adult years are often focused on accumulation of things and attempting to move up the ladder in one’s profession. Please don’t ignore, though, the great good for others and the life lessons learned by you when you intentionally devote effort for the good of others.
Leap year lesson #153 is Invest your lives in others.