“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
—Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.
Each year on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service in America.
I like the great symbol behind the idea of a day of service, where people are invited to volunteer and help others. Since its inception, people have volunteered and delivered meals, built home, tutored, and mentored children and engaged in various projects. They have also reflected on the life of Dr King. The idea is to engage volunteers beyond the holidays and have them dedicate time to year-round volunteering.
Service is a noble and lofty idea
Service is a noble and lofty idea, and each of us can find time to help others. Volunteering in any not-for-profit is a great source of joy. Whether it is serving food to the poorest, mentoring young children, serving at the local church, or writing for an NGO advocating for women and children rights, there are many possibilities to help others.
Any one of us can serve; all we need is a willing heart filled with love for others.
Service as a way to greatness
Some of the most generous and most extraordinary people in this world are public servants; they work tirelessly for others’ welfare. Well-known philanthropists have devoted time and money to great causes. Others have created institutions where they serve wholeheartedly and give their life in the service of others.
Artists have sung for free for decades raising money for charities and changing the world
Together we are strong.
The U.S.A. for Africa changed our perception in 1985. The music industry and the world came together in an extraordinary outpouring of generosity in response to the tragic famine wreaking havoc in Africa. The greatest artists created a worldwide performance. We Are the World, written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie; with Quincy Jones, the artistic director made a sensation. Mega artists volunteered their time and put their wonderful music and voices to raise funds for Africa. This is a perfect example of selfless service and the results are as follow:
- More than 7 million records sold
- $100,000,000 raised to improve lives
- Hundreds of humanitarian initiatives supported
- Supporting programs in the U.S. and Africa
Citizens everywhere joined the call for services and volunteered for Not-for-Profits to serve the poorest, wherever they are in the world. Some for one day, some for years. Without volunteers, these charitable organisations could not function.
In 2012, I enjoyed volunteering at a local church in Newark—I had just lost my Mum, and I was grieving. In October 2012, the Hurricane caused severe damage in New Jersey, and the population sought help in a Newark Church with a beautiful team and a great Senior Pastor. The church was a Heaven on Earth and serving along these beautiful people in a loving community made a real difference in my life. More than one thousand people volunteered throughout the years. Service healed my broken my heart. These months of volunteering mended my heart.
Volunteers are a great source of assistance to the organisation. They give their time and energy. Some receive refugees in their communities, home and make sure the refugees feel loved and welcomed. Some feed the hungry or visit cancer patients—All such initiatives bring comfort to those who are served and to also those who volunteer. All the volunteers make a difference in this world because of their commitment to service.
Service dissolves all the barriers of classes, castes, and religions. Through volunteering and service, we meet people we would never have met and discover that we all belong to the beautiful human family. We may be different men and women in body but we share the same esprit de corps. Service teaches us solidarity, kindness, empathy. It makes us better human beings.
Service is a way to happiness
Some of my greatest joys have come from volunteering, especially with people with learning disabilities at Mencap. I was always so happy, serving tea and joining in the Thursday evening Café and do a Karaoke jig at one of the London Mencap. Volunteering with women organisation has also been great and I have ironed my leadership skills sitting on the board of a women Not-for-Profit board. I love serving and volunteering. It is a source of great happiness.
What do you reckon? Here’s my concluding thoughts
Through service, we soften our hearts. By helping others, by making sure that others are provided, we reach a state of happiness beyond all understandings and are filled to the brim with it.
“Those who are not looking for happiness are the most likely to find it because those who are searching forget that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.”
—Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.