“We need more kindness, more compassion, more joy, more laughter. I definitely want to contribute to that.”-Ellen DeGeneres
First of all, we all need more people in the world with hearts like Ellen DeGeneres. This quote is almost as perfect as she is, because it truly covers all bounds in aspects of life that really mean something. No one is worth anything if they aren’t kind, or compassionate, etc. Even greater than that, ones’ actions need to match up with their hearts and their intentions. I truly that believe one’s tangible wealth means nothing, if they do not use that wealth to heighten the lives of others. No matter how big or small.
Veterans village, upon its first entrance into my life, seemed as nothing more than an opportunity for a couple of handshakes from individuals much cooler and wiser than I, and a chance to score some extra credit, in the possibility that I hit a pitfall mid semester. Once I arranged the perfect Thursday to skip biology in order to attend, I got excited. I volunteered at soup kitchens, and animal shelters as a kid, but it had been a while since I had involved myself in serving in this realm. I would also probably include myself that Dr. Soldani said would be fun, because I trust her with my life. So, I arranged my cute little fruit kabobs into my Subaru, forced my brother to join me and we showed up at Veteran’s Village with no idea where we would need to interject ourselves in order to be useful. I ended up handing out my said fruit kabobs, greeted with many smiles and “thank yous” from the veterans, and many, “these look very nice!”. One gentleman even said to me- “These things have all my favorite fruits on them, what a day.” Followed by a cupcake handed to him from my brother, this guy really looked like it was the highlight of his evening/week. Score. I don’t know why that one guys comment stuck with me, but it made me feel good.
I felt like I was part of something again, something greater than me, that probably meant more to those veterans than I could ever imagine. When you use your “status”, or even just your free time to make an impact, you realize how much more you could really be doing. You realize how good you have it, and how much your one small act can help hundreds. A lot of the time, I feel like you can make excuses or spend your free time thinking about no one other than yourself, but re-engaging into the community of people that truly need more-even its just a kind hello or a meal with some nutritional value-can be everything. I plan to do that more. It makes our/my time on this earth more worthwhile and meaningful, knowing that you have positively impacted someone’s life, even if it’s just for a moment.
As we left, my brother mentioned that he actually really liked and would do it again. We have similar hearts, and I hope that he also had the takeaway that I did. I believe everyone on this earth has their perfect and profound way of adding more love, compassion and joy to this earth, and no matter what one’s calling may be or how much material they have to serve to others-everyone has space to help in some capacity, and everyone deserves to walk away with that warm and fuzzy feeling knowing that their contribution meant something to someone else. If no reason other than that, do it for that and then embrace every other feeling that comes with that.