What is community service? Is it a punishment, or a reward? Why do judges order criminals to pay fines or to serve their community as part of their restitution for a crime? In this article I’d like to share 11 thoughts about Community Service and how we can change the perspective on the subject.
Most people would never spend an afternoon cleaning up the side of a roadway, or pulling weeds at a nursery home. Most would turn their nose up, at the thought of serving food to the less fortunate at the homeless shelter. What about walking dogs at the shelter. If you asked them to pick up a shovel and clean up a pile of horse dung at the fair grounds. Most would absolutely say no. What if I challenged you to VOLUNTARILY spend one day this month doing something like this? What benefits could you personally reciprocate from doing this?
How do you think a simple act of cleaning up a mess, a mess that you didn’t make could benefit yourself? Here’s 10 benefits you can get from serving others:
1. Attitude. Think about service as a way to gain control over your thoughts and actions. So often community service is viewed as a negative or punishment, but I challenge you to see it as a positive instead. You have the choice in how you serve. Helping others is way more powerful than hurting others.
3. Stretching. The simple act of bending down to pick up a piece of trash helps stretch your musculoskeletal system. Stretching, releases toxins stored up deep inside your muscles, tendons, and joints. If you haven’t stretched out those parts of your body recently. You could have years of stress built up inside, those toxins need to be released.
4. Rejuvenation. Spending a few extra hours outside allows your skin, hair, lungs, and eyes to absorb essential vitamins and minerals. These days most people miss out on these simple but very important building blocks of life. You might not absorb these nutrients just traveling from the house to work, home, or the store.
5. Exercise. By picking up a tool, or spoon to shovel and serve; helps activate new muscle groups you might not have ever used. It might be difficult at first, but after a few reps it gets easier and easier. Try to overcome the feelings of fatigue and gain new levels of strength.
6. Socializing. In this day and age we are all so socially connected through a screen or keyboard. However our physical communication and connections have been severely impacted. By joining a community clean up event you have a great chance to meet new and friendly people.
7. Giving back. How much of our lives do we only focus on ourselves? When we spend our time in the service of others, we have an opportunity to pay it forward.
8. Positivity. When you finish a few hours of service you will feel a mix of emotions, most likely you’ll have used up your stored energy levels. Your body will need to rest. When you sit to rest afterwards you’ll gain a new perspective, and a release of endorphins like oxytocin aka the love drug.
9. Gratification. When you finish the event or day, not only will you fulfill your duty to the people of your community, but you’ll be able to say. Look what I just did! Take a picture, post it to your page, and inspire others with your actions.
10. Improvement. When we come together to work on a service project, the goal is to improve the area, the life of another, or the community. By joining a group of other volunteers, you become a vital part of the group. Which improves the connections inside of the community.
11. Gratitude. At the end of the day, don’t forget to thank yourself, and the other members of the team. Having a sense of gratitude is one of the most powerful feelings in the world. Gratitude is second only to the feelings of love and friendship. Everyone needs a sense of purpose, and these events offer each one of us a change of pace and all the other reasons listed above.
Thank you for taking the time to read this perspective. So now that you’ve learned about 10 benefits you can personally receive. I challenge you to get outside join a group. Go volunteer for a community service project.
“Get healthy, help Nature”