I guess it stems from human nature. The willingness to help those who can’t help themselves is in all of us, yet is approached differently. For me, I do service because others need my help and I have been so fortunate in life that the least I could do is give back. Service should be done for the betterment of one’s self and for the community and world around us. Yet some do service for other reasons. These include being forced to do service hours because of a crime which has been committed, or using community service as an image builder and public relations. People who do service for this reason include those who for one reason or another need to influence citizens.
My first experience in the service world was in eighth grade when I was a counselor at a camp for children who had cystic fibrosis. This was probably my first experience with the real world. For the first time, and to my amazement, I saw that people-even kids-were sick and dying. I realize I was extremely naive, but for some reason I thought only people outside of America were sick and dying. My life up to that point had been sheltered and dreamlike to me. I saw kids who were only a few years younger than I and who were probably living their last year. I remember when I went back the next year to see the kids off on their bus to camp not seeing some girls who were in my cabin the year before. I was horrified to find out that some of my campers had not made it through the year. Thank goodness I was able to be opened up to the suffering that was taking place so close to me. And my mother is the one I have to thank for this. Thank you for taking me to CF camp. She planted a seed which still desires to grow to this day...
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... your local university. We all need to pitch in in some way or another. If this is donating blood, helping Habitat for Humanity, or being a big brother or sister to children, in need, then so be it. Helplessness is a condition that can be nourished into helpfulness with time and caring. It is not a disease which we can catch and need to keep a safe distance from. I will make a promise: if you do immerse yourself in helping others, you will find a deeper, more meaningful life. You will feel better about yourself since you are helping others. When people rely on you, you become committed. For those who have never given back, I can only imagine that if for some reason you became helpless one day, you would thank God for those who helped you. Please help those like my kids at Cystic Fibrosis camp and my high school boyfriend Charlie: those who can not help themselves.
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