(This is the last student essay from Spring 2019)
As Ellen DeGeneres once said, “We need more kindness, more compassion, more joy, more laughter. I definitely want to contribute to that.” This statement is very accurate, especially in the world recently. Showing just a little kindness can go a long way and really make a difference in one’s life.
When I helped out at Veterans Village Dinner, I brought four packs of soda and was actually very nervous to help out. I had helped out with similar events before with my dad, but this was me going in by myself, sure that I would be out of my comfort zone the entire time. Don’t get me wrong, I love being able to show kindness, but I am also very reserved and not social at all. I arrived at Veterans Village, and luckily saw someone I knew. Once I got upstairs for the dinner I was nervous about how I would talk with the veterans and make sure I was doing everything right. However, this came fairly easily, as I was in a cast. Many of the veterans asked me what happened, and when I told them I got surgery, they would show me their scars from combat and surgery and I was able to connect with them that way, which was really cool.
This definitely helped me use my core values in a very useful way. It encouraged me to go out of my comfort zone to help others in a very engaging way, and it did not turn out as scary as I thought it would. Being able to relate to the veterans in some way with my surgery was very helpful in getting me out of my shell and I could see the gratefulness the veterans expressed due to our kindness. I definitely have a heavy heart for people who need help, but it gets hard sometimes to communicate and help, due to my introverted nature, so having the motivation of extra credit helped me to really do something that I felt was meaningful.
I would definitely recommend, to anyone, to go out of their way to help others and contribute to their community and those who could use some help. It does more than just help the receiver, but it also fills the person doing helpful acts with their own sense of joy. I definitely felt great as I was driving home after the Veterans Village Dinner, knowing I helped others and brought them happiness. And even if you do not necessarily feel happiness after doing so, helping others and being kind can make a big difference in the receiver’s life, so sprinkling kindness everywhere you go could spread to everyone around you, which is just about what the world needs right now.
Overall, I highly enjoyed serving at the Veterans Village Dinner, and it inspired me to do more things similar to it. Even though I was scared, I went and served and was surprised at how much of a difference I could make in the lives of others, and the way that helping and showing kindness made me feel as well. Anyone who has the opportunity to help in their community or show some kindness should always try their best to do so.