I didn’t want to end the month of January without acknowledging the 87th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birth. While parades are nice, one of the best ways to honor his sacrifice is to serve others, because this is part of his legacy. Because he said “anybody” can serve, it motivates me to encourage everyone – no matter of age or economic status – to be involved in their communities.
I usually work with children and teens and demonstrate to them ways to serve others, but lately I have been moved to share the importance of service with adults. Community service learning is not just for students or for those sentenced to community service as a punishment.
Recently, a young lady was telling me how she couldn’t find a job in the field for which she had trained because she didn’t have enough experience. I asked her if she had considered volunteering in her area of expertise. She hadn’t even thought that was an option! Many smart people that I know volunteer in their communities if they find themselves out of work. Later, they find that they are both valued for their contributions and trained for future employment.
As I reflect on Dr. King’s service, I am reminded of the difference he made in the world. While each of us may not impact the world in the same way that Dr. King did, we can each impact someone’s life in a positive way through mentoring, volunteering or even random acts of kindness. Remember it not only impacts others, but by serving we can affect change in our own lives as well.