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When I was in high school I was involved in everything. If a fund was being raised, a ball was being tossed, if cookies needed to be baked, if banners were to be painted–I was your gal. I was involved with everything without really doing anything. I was serving widely, not deeply.
With experience I’ve realized that quality beats quantity when it comes to service. Instead of superficially helping many, I’d rather thoughtfully serve a few.
When we serve deeply, we are better tools for change. We access situations more carefully and discover what the real needs are. We nurture and support the relationship of those we serve.
Lindsey Orrock, a Pearl Pledge extraordinaire, is also a proponent of serving deeply. She relates the following experience:
“When I was probably around 14, a group of girls from my church all went to an elderly woman’s house with the intention of helping her clean her house. We got our clean on: washing windows, cleaning floors, dusting, vacuuming. We quickly realized that, although she was very happy for our help at her house, what she really was needing was someone to listen to her. As we cleaned she would tell us all kinds of stories about her life and her family and we soon finished our jobs but stayed to chat with her for an additional hour.
“Although we came thinking we knew what this woman needed, what she really needed was something else entirely. I am just grateful that as we served we were able to discover that and meet her true needs. And it made an impact on me as well. We could have just gone to a woman’s house and cleaned, instead we were able to learn about an amazing woman.
“Service is about people, I think it’s important when we are serving to think about the real needs of those around us. It can be so easy to just come up with something we can do without asking ourselves if it is really needed. By discovering true needs we can make a bigger difference in the world around us and in our own lives as well.”
Lindsey just got her degree in teaching social studies and is off to new adventures in San Antonio, Texas.
Give the service- minded friend in your life a (be)Cause necklace in appreciation for their goodness. Buy it now.
Have you ever been the recipient of meaningful service? We’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment below!