Community Service: A Deeper Meaning
“No candle loses its light while lighting another candle. Never stop sharing, caring and helping others, because it makes our life more meaningful”- Anonymous.
As teachers we have a unique opportunity to touch the lives of others. It has rightly been said that teaching is a service. All of us at school, knowingly or unknowingly are in the service of doing good. Service is something we participate without pity or preconception, but with a completely open mind and open heart, in entirety. In this way we also light the candles called ‘students’ who go into the society continuing to light the lives of many other people.
But for the people at large, when we ask about community service, the first few things that would site are activities such as cleaning dirty roads, helping the poor, volunteering in old age homes, orphanages, homes for the disabled, etc. Indeed, these are integral to contributing to the lives of others. They not only make us do good, but also inspire others to do the same.
However, there is so much more to Community Service!! And, this is the best part about it.
Community service is not just about the general public donating clothes or food for the poor, or about corporate companies donating large sums of money to a good cause. It is also about what we can do as day-to-day activities to help and serve the people around us, or the people we know. Let me give you an example- did you just help your neighbour’s child with her Mathematics homework? If you did, congratulations! You just participated in community service! The cause can be big or small, but if there is an effort to make someone’s life better in any way possible, you have contributed to community service and you should be proud of it.
“All good habits begin at home” they say, which aptly fits this topic. From an early age, if a child is ‘not’ taught to help in sharing household chores, help peers get through tough times, or even study for exams in groups, he/she will grow up to be indifferent towards some of society’s pressing issues, and would not care to help anyone voluntarily.
Therefore, community service is a habit that must be inculcated in a very young age, because the small contributions that we make when we are young, will make us more sympathetic and helpful towards society. Let us do things just to see someone smile. Because when we do it, they will do the same to others. Community service is not something we do out of force, and should not be done in that way. It is something that comes from within; it is the deep and heartfelt desire to make a change.
I can relate very well with the concept of ‘all good habits begin at home’. I was not an aesthetically pleasing teacher candidate when I decided to take up this work, but I promised myself to become the best teacher I can be. This was due to the work ethic instilled in me by my grandfather, also a teacher and a pastor. And, as I started exploring this profession, I started seeing how teaching involves serving the community by educating its children, our next generation. It is not limited to academics, but encompasses role modeling and providing opportunities to children to be true to oneself and to do the right thing at all times.
This to me is ‘success’ and I have often used real-life experiences (especially my own) to help children think about this important value system and to include it in their lives too. To conclude, service has helped expand my worldview, develop empathy and leadership skills, and realize how actions can have a positive impact. I would like to continue to be that candle that will light up many other candles and this has no end but will live on forever, even after me.
By Ms. Asha Doris, Academic Coordinator, Ekya BTM