“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
For my service project, I decided to ship a box of snacks to someone serving in the army. It was a small gift to me but truthfully the best thing I could do for the soldier. In the box, I sent some Takis, Oatmeal Cream Pies and Twizzlers among other things. While writing a little note for the soldier to read while enjoying their snacks I realized that I would probably never know who received my gift. At first, I thought it was a negative thing but then I realized it is probably for the better. The unknown is something that humans have been curious about since the beginning of time. The wander for answers has driven many humans to becoming obsessed with finding a missing meaning. Often questioning things with “why” or “how”.
I often times catch myself overthinking many things. I went the other day to buy a lottery ticket, the girl I was with asked me why I would spend money on something that is so unlikely. I thought about it for a little and honestly did doubt myself. I thought why am I buying this? Then I remembered why. “Why not?” was my answer. Someone is going to win it, someone tomorrow will wake up $463 million dollars richer. Why can it not be me? As you could assume, I did not win the Powerball. In the car ride home however, I thought about what I would do with the money. My immediate thought was to do anything in my power to make the lives of my loved ones easier. I wanted everyone to benefit from my wealth. However, I realized the plentitude of wealth I already had. Every day I wake up with the opportunity to impact someone’s day. Everyone can benefit from a good mood and a genuine smile.
Every day I hope to impact a few people who will understand the unwritten rule to pass it on. I hope the two or three people I impact go and impact two or three people. This never-ending cycle can change the world. I once read a story about a man who committed suicide by jumping off a bridge. In his house, he left a note saying, “If one person smiles at me while walking on the bridge, I won’t jump.” This disturbed me. It really bothered me for a while. I can imagine people walking past him, acting as if he didn’t exist. I know that if any of those people knew they had to power to save that man’s life, they would have. The simple fact is that we all have the opportunity to change someone’s life. The question is if we are willing to sacrifice some pride and take the chance.
As I finish writing this, I am on my way home for Christmas break. A couple hours of silence and background music can make one think. My experience in college so far has been a roller coaster. At times, I have had the time of my life and at times I have been really down. I am currently evaluating what it could be that brings me down. Could it be being away from home? Could it be not constantly in an environment in which I know everyone? I’m not sure yet. However, it comforted me incredibly when I realized that many other people are on the same boat. Coming from an all-male college preparatory school, college is incredibly different. College has girls and very outspoken people. The majority of my peers and friends have different views on politics, religion and social norms. While many people choose to attend college in which they fit in, I believe not fitting in leaves plenty of space for improvement. I love this. I love people trying me on my religion and political views. Its healthy, it is what keeps us human. It reaffirms your values and what you believe in. What would this world be if we all had the same views? This diversity is unique because everyone is different and weird. This may seem all irrelevant to service but to me this is what keeps me serving and compassionate. Since this world is not perfect, human flaws are unfortunately often emphasized. Diversity has been the deciding factor in when many people decide to serve others. Often times, the people will choose to serve others based on their race, education, religion, or political views. However, every single one of us has the opportunity to be compassionate and kind to everyone we meet.
Whenever I see a soldier I will be constantly reminded of that time I sent a box to a soldier with snacks for my history class freshman year. The odds of me running into that soldier sometime in the future and being able to make the connection are slim to none. Yet, that small reminder will bring me to being a more giving and compassionate person. As the soldier makes his way home, one day he might see a young college student and possibly be reminded of the love he received from his nations citizens. As the gift may not seem like much to others, it is special to me and hopefully the person receiving it. While the act of giving alone is often overlooked by many, it has the power to transform a person’s entire day. Giving does not have to be money or food, it can be a compliment or a smile. The more a person receives kindness, the more likely they are to spread it. One random act of kindness a day is enough to be an impactful person.