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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Service

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"Service...Giving what you don't have to give. Giving when you don't need to give. Giving because you want to give." -Damien Hess

When I started 12 in 2012, my goal was to post a new value on the first day of every month. Here it is, March 4, not but three months into the project and I am just now posting this month’s value. (Good thing I never said punctuality was a core value of mine, right?)

Ironically, part of the reason I am just now posting this month’s value, service, is that I have been, well, serving.

Week before last, a colleague asked me to help her out by taking on a huge presentation. Usually, this request would be no big deal. In my job, I often facilitate large professional development sessions for teachers. There were a couple of unique challenges with this request, though. The time frame was practically impossible—the presentation was scheduled for a week from the day she called me. I had regular job responsibilities that left me absolutely no open days to plan. Then, there the content. I’d never presented on this topic before. I would be starting from scratch. Finally, when I read the feedback from teachers, it was obvious they expected a top quality show.

I said yes.

It was a tough week as I struggled to get the presentation together, keep up with my regular school visits, and be a mommy to two very active toddlers.
Friday came quickly, and ultimately, the presentation went better than I thought it would. It wasn’t my best presentation, by any means. But I had given it my best effort, and I hope my sincerity and transparency made up for the lack of polish.

What I love about my job, what I love about service, is that I find I always get much more than I give. Sure, I left work on Friday tired, but I also left feeling renewed.

I can only I hope the teachers who were involved learned as much as I did.
Throughout March, I plan to be more intentional about service—not just in my work life but in other areas as well. Specifically, I want to be more intentionally about serving others through love and kindness.

I must confess that I’ve been inspired by Erin, a fellow June 2010 mommy, who has been quietly changing the world with her Project Kindness. For the past two weeks, she’s been serving others through random acts of kindness, and in the process, inspiring others to find ways to pay it forward.

As I’ve read her beautiful reflections, I have been struck by the realization that the act of extending kindness to another, without expectation of reciprocation and without feelings of superiority, is the essence of service.

Service comes from a place of love, of believing that we are all worthy of love.

And, while we can transform the world through service, we also transform ourselves in the process.

Love.

I know I usually list some tangible goals I hope to accomplish during the month’s focus. I am intentionally skipping the list this month. I have no idea where this idea of performing random acts of kindness, I mean, service, is going to take me.

I am sure Erin will give me some good ideas. I’ve found 100 more ways here.

Something tells me when I open my eyes and start to focus on ways to serve, the opportunities will be all around me.

Love.

MaMe Musings

4 comments:

Erin said...

Much love to you. Work kindness definitely counts. Going above and beyone to help people (you know) is actually even more commendable! Thanks for reading along. I think everyone really wants to help others. They just need to make an effort to! =)

Miss Megan said...

Punctuality isn't a core value of mine either! =)
I think serving in any context is commendable. Whether it's in your work life, your personal life, or with complete strangers it is still service and it is still helping others, is some small way or some large way. Good for you!
And I am in the same camp Erin is - I think generally all people want to help others, they do just need some direction and reminding to do so =). Thanks for the reminder!

Tami said...

What kind of presentations do you give? Is it for in-service days? I am very interested to hear about your job.

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

I always feel a little bit funny, talking about anything service-oriented I've done. Certainly I don't see it as strange when other people share, though, so maybe it's just a goofy personal hang-up I have. ;)

I hope you'll let us know some of the ways you find to express servitude. It's definitely an awesome feeling, and I think it's so easy to get inspired when you see what others are doing, too. A viral service, if you will! :)

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