True happiness... is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose. - Helen Keller. This is exactly what I experienced when I volunteered my time and effort to the cause of serving Veterans. I felt this self -worthiness when I realized the people who I served was getting what they deserved which is servitude. Once they had to serve our country with their lives and now they need help. In return, I and others illustrated our gratitude of the Veterans unselfish duty by donating, cooking, and serving the food with a tall smile.
It was on a normal Thursday evening when this adventure of unselfishness happened for me. I walked in the building at the Veteran’s Center and felt this compassion shattering my normal emotions. As I searched and conversed with some of the lost, lonely, and confused Veterans I learned much about their road called life. One individual shared that he lost his wife and had nowhere else to go. Another Veteran announced he was physically disabled from the war. In return, he could not physically or financially able to take care of himself. Some confessed that serving their country was the lime light of their life and others had regrets of all the devastating experiences that came along with the job. In the process of serving some proclaimed that they lost their way in life. All they ever known was military and servitude for the country. Once they re-enter civilization, it was difficult for some to adjust to the life of a normal person. Numerous of Veterans was labeled mentally disabled. Therefore, this disability crippled their life style. It hindered where they could live. What they can have or do in life. The disability income is very poor. It is not enough for someone to survive in a city. This where our servitude came in. On certain days, many get together plan for the event of serving the Veterans. I was one of the many that joined forces to make a difference in these Veterans’ lives.
In the beginning I did it to come in compliance with an assignment or extra credit. In the process of volunteering, my heart changed about serving. In the past I thought only helping others were for certain individuals and I wasn’t one of those individuals. My notion of helping was just donating money but serving. Well my view point altered as I mingled with Veterans. I begin to see the importance of serving others than yourself. My heart ached as I heard the continuous miserable stories of the Veterans. As an observer, I now see that I can add to the world as I add to my character.
This experience has placed me in a mode of being more open-minded about helping others. This life learned lesson has prepared me to act when there is a need set before me that I can meet. The self-gratification that I get from this is more than words can express. How the Veterans face lights up when the know someone care for them has it rewards. It appears that this small service gives them a little boost to continue in life and that there is hope. So, the objective of the volunteering has met the set goal of the mission. Do other duties call? Yes, but one can be subtracted off the list for the Veterans.
In every community, you will find Veterans. Those communities that do not really honor their soldiers need to have an open ear. Our Veterans need more than just one day to honor them which “Veteran’s Day”. If the opportunity was given, the serving of the Veterans daily should be televised so the entire world could experience the same compassion as I do. This may push other communities to jump on board with the urgency of the high needs of the past dedicated soldiers who feels like they were thrown to the wolves to defend for themselves. America is a country that was built to flourish but we cannot leave the ones that helped America to become the country of all nation behind. We are one nation no matter the need or services that are presented.
I am very proud of not just my service but the team that made this self-gratification experience a worthy engagement. The Veterans that I met became a friend that I felt like I lost but now have found. That piece that I was longing for was my genuine compassion for others. I have found that missing part of my life. Serving others was that other fragment that was fulfilled. Now I see “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”-Mahatma Gandhi