Thursday, April 14, 2016

The greater purpose - a VISTA story

Opening minds and coming to the realization that we need to collaborate to improve our community ourselves is the true meaning of service. I was raised in a family where you work to pay the bills, and when you have time on the side, you serve others. This may very well work for some, but in the end, America is facing a plethora of social and economic issues, and it is the responsibility of each community, and the country as a whole, to identify the root of issues, and make strategic, active and real change.

An important aspect of service, is putting more of yourself into something, and receiving less, if not significantly less in return. We exist in a world where everything is exchanged for something. One does a job at a certain level to receive a certain pay. In the nonprofit sector, specifically in my current position, I am putting vastly more of myself into my job than I am getting in return, quantitatively. However, there is enlightenment in realizing the greater purpose served.

What service means to me personally, is maximizing my own talents and strengths, and focusing that on issues that matter. We live in a world that is in great need. If I can be the change I want to see in the world, and make genuine improvements to the community I live in – I would feel fulfilled. I found a quote a while back that I identified with quite a bit: 
“Heroes are made by the paths they choose not the powers they are graced with.” 
I’m sure there are many career paths I could have chosen, but working in the nonprofit sector serving a true, clear, and meaningful purpose, grows me as an individual, and hopefully creates a better society. 

By: Abigail Christiansen, Veteran Services Coordinator
2015-2016 AmeriCorps VISTA member

1 comment: