This I Believe

Jason - Livingston, New Jersey
Entered on April 20, 2006

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” This poignant quote by Muhammad Ali states a concept many of us overlook during our lifetime. I believe the idea of public service is needed for us to flourish, not only as individuals, but as a society.

While looking back at my collegiate career, I realized that many of my pleasant memories related to community service events. However, this was not an idea I shared until my involvement in The National Gandhi Day of Service of Fall 2002. As a youthful college freshman, I volunteered to perform household chores for the disabled elderly. The action of volunteering was something I did not do on a regular basis prior to entering college. Upon finishing the day of service, I left with a surprising feeling. It was a renewed sense of self-gratification. I realized it was the idea of giving something back to a community, which has given us so much. This notion is something I credit for changing the way I look upon life.

Some people perform community service to make themselves feel better. Others may perform it for the betterment of the general public. Whichever the case, it is necessary for all of us to engage in service for the enrichment of society.

For the younger public, it provides a means to learn about responsibility and leadership. Becoming an early advocate may change the way you live your life. For the elder public, it may provide an opportunity to repay society for your good fortunes. Yet, the act of service will not be as rewarding if made mandatory. The feeling of self-reward and kindness is only maximized through one’s own initiative. In essence, it is up to you. Search for opportunities in which your efforts can benefit others. By practicing my beliefs, I am graduating college with a feeling of completeness. This I believe. Service is providing something which you don’t have. It is giving when you don’t need to give. Most importantly, it is giving because you care to give.