finding purpose

My route to and from work takes me past a church.  I always look over at the church when I pass for no reason other than it’s a beautiful church; it’s big with traditional steps and a steeple.  So I look at it.  Well, one day on my way home I noticed an older gentleman (I assume older than 50) cutting the lawn, and I was immediately agitated.  Unsure why I was so bothered by such a common act as is cutting grass, it dawned on me that I was annoyed by the fact that someone younger wasn’t cutting the church lawn.  I began to question where are the younger men who are next in line?  They should be cutting the grass! I was genuinely upset, and so naturally I did the only thing I could do, I went home and lashed out at the first young man I saw– my husband.  He had no clue why he was being attacked.

What’s my point?  I often think back to what I observed that day, and I am still bothered by it.  I am bothered by the fact that there aren’t enough young people willing to take the place of their elders.  And that includes myself.  Sure, for all intents and purposes, I am a law-abiding citizen, but I do not give back to my community the way I should, and ashamedly, I haven’t instilled this particular trait in my own children or even challenged my husband to do so.  Instead, I make excuses for why I don’t do more.  But I know better.  You see, when I was in college, I volunteered my time on a regular basis, and it was very rewarding.  I distinctly remember my sorority volunteering at a retirement community.  We did a cakewalk with the residents, and it was fun.  It was also an eye-opening experience about a part of life that I had not begun to think about.  Now I wonder, who will be next in line to do a cakewalk with me?  

So what’s my plan?  Well, this year, I made a goal, as you know (in 2015), to volunteer my time, and I plan to start on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, a day designated to honor and celebrate a selfless man.  As much as I know about MLK, Jr., I am still learning about the many things he did and said to ensure a better life for so many people he did not know.  He endured more than I, with my hot-headed self, can begin to imagine.  I am awestruck.  I have many reasons to be thankful for the opportunities he afforded me: 2 college degrees, a job teaching ALL children, and a voice to lift up, but I am most grateful for his purposeful decision to fight in a civil manner. While many believe that it was his best and only course of action, I believe he did so for a far greater reason.  For if he had taken a violent approach like his oppressors , he would have lost his humanity and that would have been a loss for us all. For his sacrifice, he deserves the utmost respect.  

Where will I begin? I plan to volunteer with United Way of the Greater Triangle, and I am looking forward to helping others.  United Way has challenged us to “Make it a day ON, not a day OFF”, and I am going to do just that.  I am both encouraged and motivated to participate in the 2015 Day of Service, and I am excited to take my first step to “Pay it Forward” in his honor.  I have to start somewhere.  I have to show my children how to be better for all mankind.  

Join me or leave a comment to let me know how you plan to celebrate. Do something.  Just start.  “A waterfall begins with only one drop of water.”

MLK