“The best way to find yourself…is to lose yourself in the service of others” said Mahatma Gandhi. This has to be one of my favorite quotes. To me this quote means that it’s one thing to do something good for yourself but it’s another thing to do it for someone else. People in today’s society are often desensitized from what goes on in the real world. Everyone isn’t as blessed and fortunate as some people are, and they may not be able to afford the flashy lifestyle. Often times people get caught up in those finer things and how good they make them feel. But it is very important that we take some of that good and give back. Not necessarily saying go buy something expensive that you know someone can’t afford but just simply do a good deed. You may have every material thing you ever wanted and karma can still repay you with something even better, maybe an opportunity. And that’s what this quote symbolizes to me, is that you can have it all and still be kind enough to help someone else, you never know what you’ll get out of it.
With that being said, for my service project I decided to volunteer at a Veterans Village. When I went, I helped out with the food bringing garlic bread for the vets, and a classmate and I thought it would be fun if we brought paint and crafts for the vets. Together we decorated the house with red Christmas bows, designed some ornaments to put on their tree, and we let them personalize picture frames of their choice. I chose to do this service because I haven’t done something like this in a while. I actually regret not going to Veterans Village earlier in the year because I really enjoyed myself. Last Easter, after church my family and I went to a nursery home to welcome them with some home-made desserts, help the staff fix the food, and help clean up afterwards. Something like this may seem little but it’s always the thought that counts. I felt like going to the nursery home meant a lot to them because as soon as you walk in their faces light up with smiles so big! It’s so touching when the elderly are happy to see a new, young, helping face around. That day, I went home with a warm heart because I was able to make someone’s day a little better. I hope I did that with the veterans as well because going there definitely makes my day!
The people at Veterans Village definitely have an impact on my educational path and outlook on veterans in general. To be in class and learning about them is completely different than actually meeting and getting to speak with one. Giving us their insight on life and hearing about what they did for not only us, but this country as well, just makes me have a new appreciation for all veterans. My favorite moment at the Village was at the end of the dinner when talking to Ron, Dr. Soldani, and Brittany. Ron was telling us about the troubles he’s had with his son and told us how he’s always bragging about his Master’s degree. Ron says that he told him simply that he “has a Master’s degree in life.” This was so remarkable to me and its s phrase that I’ll always remember! It shows that some people may have the highest education but what is life if it doesn’t put any obstacles in front of you. And Ron has surpassed all of his obstacles!
One major reason I feel so compassionate about the veterans and elderly is because my granddad was a veteran and my grandmother is about 65 years old! So I imagine if one of them ever had to go to a place like that and how I would want people to treat them. I’m feeling pretty good that the last two weeks of my going to Veterans Village has had a positive impact on the veterans there. Its holiday season so the ornaments we made and the decorations we put up will be around for the holidays. Also, the picture frames they personalized can either be gifts to someone else or kept for their own memories. This reminded me of when I went to the nursery home and how I made the elderly feel so I wanted to be able to give the veterans that same feeling of joy. This was simply an activity to do other than their usual Thursday night dinner but I really hope it’s something they’ll remember!