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.
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.