As Scouts, we were taught to genuinely care for those around us. Even, and sometimes especially, those who seem ungrateful for our help.
We were taught to willingly and cheerfully help those in our community and society, and that we should do so without expecting anything in return. The reward was that we were helping to make the world around us a better place.
I’m happy to say that as a teacher, my experience has been that most students will go out of their way to be helpful when they are asked, and sometimes even without asking. I see community service as a large part of education, and that is very encouraging to see.
I’m proud to say I was involved in a school trip where we travelled to West Virginia during school break to volunteer our time in helping those less fortunate than us. Out task was to help build an addition on a house for a family who couldn’t afford the labor. It made me feel good because it reminded me of my days back in scouts, and how good it made me feel when I could be of help, or make someone’s day better. To see those young students freely and willingly give up their time and vacation to help those in need was wonderful and empowering, and it filled me with hope for the future.
As an adult, I realize that you don’t always have to go off saving the world or building houses. It’s about the little things. Little gestures in our own world and our own society that amount to bigger things. The wonderful thing about that is that to us, it may seem little, but to someone else, it could leave a lasting impression…or it could change their life. We never know how far-reaching a little bit of help will go, especially in the right place at the right time.
As an adult and a teacher, I see these affects often. The wonderful part is that it’s contagious. One person being helpful will rub off on someone else, they will pay it forward, and then the next thing you know, it becomes widespread. It’s a beautiful thing.
When I started riding motorcycles, I was taught never to pass a broken down motorcycle without stopping. It’s somewhat of an unwritten code. Even if I can’t solve their problems, I can at least help them find a solution. You never know when someone is desperate for help, and you stopping might make their day. Someday, it will be me on the side of the road. Maybe my daughter. I hope someone stops to help.
The world needs more of this.