I believe being able to serve others is a necessary trait to developing a good character. Service helps me to forget about myself and be able to focus on the needs of others. Service comes in many different forms and is helpful in many different ways.
When I was between seven and ten years old, I would always debate with my dad about letting me go outside and shovel the snow. I wanted to do something that would help my family; besides, I loved the snow. Eventually my dad would agree and I would bundle up in my coat, snow pants, boots, gloves, and a hat and go outside with my brother, David. We would walk into our garage and he would grab the heavy, duty metal shovel; while I would grab my little red shovel that was made of wood and plastic. The shovel didn’t really do well on heavy amounts of snow or ice, but it allowed me to feel like I was helping out. By the time I’d finish one block of driveway; my brother would have done two to three blocks of driveway. I didn’t care; I was enjoying the fact I was making it easier and safer for my family to go out.
As I got older, my dad eventually stopped asking someone to shovel the snow because by the time he had noticed it had snowed, my brother or I would already be outside shoveling. Eventually, I became the person that would shovel the driveway and sidewalk. It was hard work, but I enjoyed it because I was helping my family.
One day, while I was shoveling my driveway, I noticed a neighbor’s driveway needed shoveling. This neighbor had recently taken a bad fall and was unable to shovel their driveway. After I was finished shoveling my driveway and sidewalk I walked over to the neighbor’s house and began shoveling their driveway. It felt really good to know I was helping somebody else other than my family.
My love for shoveling snow has continued throughout my life. As I got older and stronger I was able to shovel more driveways and sidewalks. Sometimes the people would notice that I was shoveling their driveway and they’d thank me. I would accept their thanks, but it felt weird for them to know I was shoveling the snow for them. I can’t explain why, but I preferred people not knowing who had shoveled their driveway. I believe that service must come from the heart and when I serve others I shouldn’t expect to receive recognition. It should be between me and the person I serve, and the person I serve should only know that they were served.
Service has helped me gain a better understanding of how to be a better person and I hope that I’m able to continue to apply service throughout my life time.