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Stunt Wins CIF
Stunt Wins CIF
May 8, 2024
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We’ve got work to do

Weve got work to do

Community service. What an interesting phrase. For some, it signifies countless hours of dirty work, like picking up sticky beer bottles on the beach. For perpetual volunteers, it plays one of the most prominent roles of their lives, and the thought of giving back to those in need makes them do an inward happy dance. For the general audience, it brings up images of the crisp-cut lawns of an old folks home, the smell of burning pancake breakfasts, and your 7-year-old self standing in what could be the most awkward position your mother could have put you in, the grin on your face as cheesy as her homemade grilled cheese sandwiches.

The phrase “community service” has accumulated a somewhat derogatory connotation for that general audience. When am I going to find the time in my already busy day to do volunteer work, talking to people you’ve never seen before, doing things other people get paid to do, right? Where’s the fun in that? This thought process could never be more wrong.

The reasoning behind this mindset has been derived from the entitled motives of society. For example, the main focus of modern consumerism, along with any vocation with a tedious workload, is sure to advertise any possible personal gain as the first front. If we are to do something, to make a “difference” for someone, it’s usually expecting some sort of reward. Sure, I helped that lady across the street, or sure, I served that man lunch who might not have had any. But where’s my reward? What do I get out of it?

This mindset misses the point. And the fact is, you will be rewarded, you just can’t see it yet, partially because a lot of us can’t see past the end of our own noses. Even still, that should not be the motive; if it is, we might as well stay on the couch.

Let me tell you the point plain and simple: People in this world who have no one left to care about them.

They are people who have never had a Christmas present, kids growing up without a bed to sleep in, with clothes too big and shoes worn to the tread, a person to hug and call them darling pet names. They are people who haven’t had a warm meal in their lives. They are people whose homes are the dust-covered remnants of any money they used to own, a constant reminder of all they have lost. That should break your heart. And you can join the fight to change all of that. Poverty, war, and pain will exist to the end of time, but the selfless choices you make toward the easing of those things makes more of a difference than you will ever know, let alone making a difference in your own life, as helping those in need will ultimately give you joy, I promise you. Remember the face your little sister gave you when you gave her a handmade card for her birthday, or did the dishes for her when it was her job that night? That same warm feeling will follow you when you give of your time to those who desperately need it.

According to Quora.com, humans care for each other out of survival impulses, and humans caring for one another has a distinct value in the development of a functional society. We all need each other to survive – literally. This world is a mess, and there’s no denying that. Poverty, war and pain have run rampant, leaving a lasting trail of destruction, horror, and scarring that some may never recover from; we need each other now more than ever. With a little goodness, with a little more of the “hello human kindness” that runs deeply rooted in our DNA, we can be the sunshine at the end of the tunnel, the green light at the end of the dock, the hope needed to cause a ripple of good that expands past the ends of our imaginations. This should be our motivation. As a nation, the land of the free and home of the brave, one of the richest and most well-off countries across the globe, we should all strive to be the second kind of person, the ones who know how to give selflessly, because they’ve got the point: the point that each person matters, and the fact that the ultimate reward in service is the knowledge that you improved someone’s life, whether they said it to your face or not.

I know your mother may have told you this a thousand times, but I’m going to tell you again, because she’s right: be nice.

Have courage and be kind. Volunteer. Spend an hour with a kid in need, organize a food drive to feed the man you saw on the corner of the street, donate a moment of attention to an issue, and get it done. Go the extra mile, and heck, add a smile to it. Because no matter how small or insignificant that act of community service might seem, even if you aren’t attributed the credit you think you deserve, you’ve got the point. To me, that is the diamond in the rough. This life is not our own, this world is not revolving around one person who has it all. It revolves around all of us, all seven billion of us, who share this world together. I don’t know about you, but I think we ought to care about it, and, more importantly, the people we share it with. No matter who you are, no matter where you come from, we all can make a difference. We can take one small step for the community and one large leap for the good of mankind. So gird up your loins, guys, we’ve got work to do.

 

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