Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Service, Regardless

These are a few thoughts I shared at this year's JROTC Awards Assembly.

The mission of Ellison High School is to launch young people into successful adult lives of learning, service, and meaningful work.

I love that simple statement and all it encompasses, but I want to focus just on the element of service: What separates the most genuine, effective service from just another project, gift, or collection drive? The difference lies in the way service is framed in your mind, and your approach to those you serve.

The idea of Service, Regardless is conveyed in four points:

*Service Regardless of whether you know the person or people in need: Are you willing to cross that line and reach out to people you don't know (or perhaps don't fully trust yet) to help with a need you have the ability to meet?

*Service Regardless of whether you feel the person in need is deserving of your help: Are you willing to help people only as long as they meet with your approval? Can you extend service regardless of whether you feel someone deserves it?

*Service Regardless of whether the person in need can ever repay your help: Is there really anything special about giving time/help to someone, knowing the favor will be repaid? Doesn't everyone do that? The most enduring reward comes from service to those with no way to ever repay your effort.

*Service Regardless of whether anyone knows the help came from you, or whether you ever receive credit: It's certainly nice to be recognized, but are you willing to help others when no one knows you were even involved? Do you feel satisfaction at knowing a need was met, even if you remain anonymous?

Eagles, let me encourage you to begin right now living out the vision of service in your community, and as you do, remember the idea of Service, Regardless.