I have procrastinated writing this blog in what was a busy and emotional week. On Sunday I volunteered at the New York City Marathon with members of my running club. Tuesday I voted. Wednesday I protested (more on that in my next post and please read that before expressing an opinion on why you think anyone should or shouldn’t be protesting). Last night I went to a fundraising gala in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Volunteer Center of Bergen County. Which brings me to today. Veterans Day. So rather than reflecting on the results of the presidential election, the theme that has emerged is SERVICE.
“We can find meaning and reward by serving some higher purpose than ourselves, a shining purpose, the illumination of a Thousand Points of Light…We all have something to give.”
– President George H. W. Bush, 1989 inaugural address
Giving of ourselves. Making an effort to help others. Advocating – and voting – for the world in which we want to live makes the world a better place and enriches our lives tremendously. My father served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. My late husband served in the Navy during the Beirut Conflict. Some form of service – to our county and to our community – is a necessary aspect of our lives as Americans. Not everyone does it. But everyone should.
People rely on others to be the active community investors. And thankfully there will always be those busy people who are willing to take on one more job, serve on one more non-profit board, coach one more team, and knock on one more door. But each and every one of us has a responsibility to be involved. We all have to stop assuming someone else will do it.
So here is my request…honor a veteran today by signing up to volunteer. And make a commitment to volunteering next week and next month and next year. Find a non-profit organization whose mission is meaningful to you; find a community organization that makes things better for your neighbors in need; run for public office; look to see what’s missing or needs to be fixed and be the answer. Stop waiting for someone else. And stop complaining about the results of other people’s volunteer service if you’re not serving yourself.
Sunrise on the Mile 21 Water Stop in Harlem. New York City Marathon. November 2016.