Practical Suggestions for Community Service (Part Two)
Most of us want to do some service but do not know where to start. So perhaps it is a good idea to revisit this concept, and with the help of the list below, look at the possibilities of service open to us. There are countless ways that we can serve, and you can explore many other ways to serve your fellow human beings. If you approach the opportunity to serve others with a radiant countenance and the pure motivation of kindness and love, you’ll find that the gifts you give will come back to you a thousandfold.
Serving others has the added benefit of solving one’s problems and can give peace and contentment to our souls. It helps us to deal with our problems and tests, which can destroy or undermine our happiness.
“Be not the slave of your moods, but their master. But if you are so angry, so depressed and so sore that your spirit cannot find deliverance and peace even in prayer, then quickly go and give some pleasure to someone lowly or sorrowful, or to a guilty or innocent sufferer! Sacrifice yourself, your talent, your time, your rest to another, to one who has to bear a heavier load than you — and your unhappy mood will dissolve into a blessed, contented submission to God.” -‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Star of the West. (This statement is a pilgrim note, it cannot be authenticated.)
Below are some practical suggestions for you to find out if they match your passion and expertise:
- Doing one’s job the best way possible is not only excellent service but an act of worship. We are blessed to know that doing our job to the best of our abilities is like saying prayers.
- Offer a kind gesture, a kind word, a kind act. A smile can sometimes convey more than many words. It does not cost anything, and yet it is a fantastic way of creating a loving atmosphere.
- Random acts of kindness,g. paying for someone’s coffee, paying for someone in front of you in line, giving your place in line for someone in a rush, presenting a stranger with flowers, mowing the neighbour’s lawn. Your imagination is the limit.
- Paying for the education of poor children. Baha’u’llah has instructed us to educate the children and has stated that those who help educate a child are as if they have educated His children.
- Paying for medicine. The cost of medication is increasing, and at the same time, the rate of poverty is rising, which leaves millions of sick people who cannot pay for their medicine. This is an opportunity to help the poor.
- Visiting in senior facilities. Not many realize how lonely some of the old people are. Some have lost their family members or children, or families neglect to visit them. A short visit makes a significant difference in the quality of their lives.
- Visiting the sick in hospitals. Experiencing pain and being confined to a hospital bed often leads to frustration and discouraging thoughts. A visit is a great diversion and helps to uplift their souls and aids in their healing.
- Volunteering to serve residents in group homes. Having had the opportunity to work in a group home for people with disabilities, I have learned that it is not just a kind act. Still, rather it is an acknowledgement of acceptance, and that helps them in their integration into society.