Tuesday, December 12, 2017

E: Always stay humble and kind

AMH2020 student*

“A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.” -Saint Basil

In a world filled with hatred and ungratefulness, this quote is a simple reminder that kindness and love are still an option. Love will always trump hate… Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for all that we have been blessed with. Honestly, every day should be! My service project was to bake pies for Thanksgiving dinner at the Veterans Village.  

As a former member of the Amish, I was taught at an early age how to prepare food in the kitchen from the simplest and freshest ingredients. After the food is prepared, it is always shared with love with a neighbor, friend or even a stranger. I can remember my mother standing in the kitchen for hours preparing food and after it was done, say “Now, take this over to Ray and Evelyn and be careful not to spill it on the way.” Ray and Evelyn were an older couple who lived just down the gravel road from us and Mom often prepared meals for them since age and disease were slowing them down. My mother inspired me then and still today because she taught me how to be selfless and “plant kindness”.  

Not everyone enjoys preparing food and I completely understand that.  We all have our talents. I followed my mother’s footsteps. Given that Thanksgiving is all about the turkey, stuffing and pie, I decided that this would be a great project for myself. I was given the privilege to help feed those who are less fortunate. After all, this is my way to say THANK YOU for all those who have fought for my freedom in America.  

On Thanksgiving Day, I watched the vets line up for a hot meal and it almost broke my heart. They all looked as if they had been broken. Each one has a story to tell and that story has shaped who they have become. Given that the Amish choose to not participate in fighting at war or at home, I never personally knew someone who went to war or how it could affect someone after. This project has given me the opportunity to see first-hand how people try to put their lives back together after coming home. Sometimes, it is after several attempts that they are successful. The Veterans Village offers previously homeless veterans a fresh start at life. 

Those pies were the least I could do for everything that each one of those men who have endured while fighting overseas. I cannot even begin to imagine all that they have seen and went through to make it back home. We as Americans forget the price that veterans payed for our freedom.

My major in college is human biology. After achieving my forensic pathology degree, I plan to work as a mortician. My first plan was to go for nursing.  I was almost finished when I decided that I do not deal with dying humans very well. I simply get too attached and it traumatizes me. My theory behind my major now is that I would rather find closure for families who have lost their loved ones than to have no response for families that stood over me and watched their loved one die as I performed every life-saving measure to try to revive them. This service project reflects who I am as a person. I will always be living by Tim McGraw’s words, “Always stay humble and kind.”