(Student Essay Fall 2015)
“Reason, season, lifetime, period”. This is like my lifetime quote. It’s a philosophy I live by. I have never been one to dwell on anything. Things happen and I’m fine with that. Sure there are maybe a couple things I wish I could stop from happening or change but that’s not possible… Doing this service project was sort of a challenge for me. Before the option of providing gifts for the veterans was proposed, I had no idea what I was going to do! Honestly, I just don’t put myself out there, not because I’m scared of what I’m going to receive back, but rather the commitment that goes along with it. I don’t know how to be warm, neither am I an inviting person. I’m very closed off, mild mannered, and irresponsible. So for me to provide service to anyone else I felt was ludicrous! I feel as though, the process of having to come up with a service project was a service to myself, if that makes sense. Originally, what I decided on doing was…nothing! I couldn’t bring myself to open up to the point where I could potentially make an impact in others lives. When I think about it… Well, when I type about it, it makes me feel kind of uneasy. Why would I let things that have effected me to act the way I do hinder me from providing service for those in need? I feel like no matter what we go through, we are who we decide to become period. Sure, there may have been things that happen in your life that kind of throws you for a loop, but its up to you to decide if or not you would allow that to consume you, and in this case I lost the war. The service project that I completed was providing gifts to a veteran. How do I feel about doing that? Great! BUT… What more could I do? You know? I didn’t push myself, I didn’t do anything that would provide service to me! I may have possibly made someone’s Christmas which is a feat in itself, however, I could have done more… I can do more. Why not take it a step further and help deliver the gifts? I think that there are a lot of intellectual growing opportunities I could take up to further my character development.
Me being secluded isn’t hurting anyone but myself… I’m not the first nor the last to experience lost, or pain… So why am I allowing the thought to consume me? This class has pushed me out of my comfort zone like no other… It has forced me to think, not only about things that are going on around me, or that has happened, but also about who I am, what I’m able to do, and what my limits are.
While talking to my mom, I was telling her about the items I brought for the veterans, and also the reasoning behind the assignment. When I told her how the slots on the adopt a veteran’s sheet were all accounted for, she replied saying “Well, that shouldn’t be hard. You used to provide service all the time when you would go spend time with Mr. Shake.” My grandmother was the primary caretaker of an elderly man, much older then her. He had kids, however they did not communicate. In fact, during this time, he probably hadn’t heard from them in about 15 years. Well, I’d frequent his house a lot, which is near my grandmothers on adjacent land, and id ask him to tell me stories about things that happened in the olden days. He’d proceed by telling me stories about his childhood, and how the world was back then. We’d talk about how for Christmas he and his siblings would get bags with peppermint, fruit, and sometimes a little wood made toy, and be content. I was always so fascinated by his stories because they were so different then how the world is today. As I got older, I stopped visiting Mr. Shake, I didn’t think nothing of it at first, until I got much older… I realized that he admired my time, as much as I did his. He didn’t have other visitors who would listen to what he had to say. That may not have been a secular service to a community but it was service to one man. One man who I possibly made look forward to waking up, knowing that he had someone ready to listen to what he had to say. I regret that I stopped visiting him. He died not too long ago. Maybe about 3-4 years back. He began to sort of lose his mind, forgetting where he was, and why he was here. My Grandmother was forced to put him into a nursing home because she didn’t know what else to do I assume.
Knowing that I have provided service to someone, and that I can has really got me contemplating the idea of doing more. Regardless of how I feel, I should not let that limit how in ways I can be of help to others. “Reason, season, lifetime period.” Started as a project, progressed into an issue, and became a lesson.