When some people think of community service they immediately think of a soup kitchen, a community clean up, or volunteer hours with school children. But there are times in our everyday lives that we provide service to others. According to the “experts” at Wikipedia, community service is donated service that is performed by someone or a group of people for the benefit of the public or its institutions.
I believe that we perform community service everyday; I like to think of the daily service as random acts of service. When you help an elder cross the street, give directions to a lost traveler, or give a person who had misfortune money for their next meal, you are engaging in a random act of service.
There may be people who will argue that these acts are common courtesy or correct manners that have been instilled in them since they were a young person. But think; what would our world look like without people who perform these acts?
A few days ago, I paid special attention to the random acts of service that I performed and kept tabs in my iPhone:
- A woman lost on the metro (DC’s train form of public transportation) had a language barrier with the man in the customer service booth; I gave her directions to her destination.
- A man behind me in line at the grocery store had two items and I had a basket full. I let him go ahead of me.
- I got to work and ordered pasta; I never eat the whole thing, so I asked the chef to box ½ in a to-go box and took it to the homeless man that always smiles and wishes me a good day on my way to work.
- The manager at Starbucks appeared to be having a horrible day. Although she is somewhat rude, I give her the biggest smile and remind her that it’s almost Friday!
Do you see that my acts really took nothing from my day? In fact, I hope they helped the person receiving the service have a better day, full belly, or warm heart knowing that someone cares. You too can perform random acts of service; remember that a little service can go a long way, slowly but surely you can create change within the lives of people around your community.
The best way for random acts of service to spread like a ripple in water is for people to use the ‘Pay It Forward’ theory. So when someone provides you with a random act of service, be sure to reciprocate it with an act to someone else. I charge you to make a conscious effort to do four random acts of service everyday. Notice how much happier you and the people around you are. Remember service makes the world go round!
Best of luck with your service. 😀
Originally Posted at http://www.ysa.org/node/3274