Small Acts of Service
I’m grateful that I’ve already had many opportunities in my life to give back to others. In high school, I was a part of a Student Senate group that had the chance to travel to New Orleans and participate in the Youth Rebuilding New Orleans project. On this service trip my classmates and I were able to aid the organization in their mission to rebuild houses that suffered great damage during Hurricane Katrina. The type of work we did was basically grunt work, nothing glamorous. We spent hours stripping nails from walls and shoveling rocks. But I remember being impressed at everyone’s attitude throughout the long day. The small tasks we were doing at times felt useless, but stepping back and looking at the big picture, it was evident that we did a lot of good for the organization. The trip taught me a lot about attitude and leadership. I think that when it comes down to it, leadership is about keeping a good attitude while modeling tasks that, to the leader, may seem unimportant.
More recently, I’ve had another opportunity where I’ve been able to give back to the community through seemingly small/unimportant acts of service. Last spring, just before COVID hit, some fellow MSU students and I were able to serve at Eden Village, a tiny home community for the chronically homeless. During this service day, I helped clean up the tiny neighborhood, plant flowers, and pave new brick walkways. Again these tasks felt small and somewhat unimportant. But when the man in charge of the organization mentioned how the flowers that might sprout up in the coming months could greatly improve the mental health of the tiny home residents, I understood that those acts could be worthwhile. I think in a time like we are going through right now, where people seem to be more isolated from one another it’s important to find your own personal moments of leadership where you might model the small act of doing something kind for another.