Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Funday: Standing Up For Service

For our office in Washington, DC, today begins Inauguration Weekend, a time when the city fills with visitors, and most people are in a generally positive mood. It's also a holiday weekend for millions of other Americans around the country, as Martin Luther King Jr Day is celebrated Monday, and many schools, banks, and government offices will be closed.

There's a habit the Obama family brought with them to the White House four years ago, and it's a habit we're positive Dr. King would approve of, the National Day of Service, which is tomorrow, January 19th.

Across the nation, from average citizens to mayors, from members of the Cabinet to President Obama and his family, millions of Americans will be volunteering in their communities tomorrow, helping to serve the needs of those that might not otherwise get help. If you'd like to join them, and you're unsure of who could use some help in your community, you can plug in your location and how you'd like to help at serve.gov, and a long list of worthy organizations will pop up, where you might volunteer and serve your community well.

Serving the needs of Americans well - even those who disagree with him - is what our staff members feel President Obama has been doing successfully during his entire first term.

It has taken a very obvious toll on him, physically, as a time-lapsed photo at the Washington Post's website displays clearly.

As doctors have confirmed multiple times over the years, the stress of the office of President weighs heavily on anyone who occupies it. Presidents are thought to age two years physiologically for every one year in office. Exercise and eating right do help to keep them young, as those habits do for all of us. But that's simply taking care of the outside.

Taking care of your inside - your spirit - requires doing something not for yourself, but for others.

Whether you call it 'Paying it forward' or social justice, volunteering has actually been scientifically proven to be good for you, combatting depression, increasing self-confidence, and even increasing your likelihood to make connections that can lead your to your next paying job.

It's not something for just one sub-section of America.

As Dr. King once said, "Everybody can be great because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace."

In short, volunteering makes you a happier person to be around, which makes you better, and makes the community you volunteer in - your city, your state, and your nation - better too.

Of course, once you're done volunteering, if you happen to want to party, or see a great show this weekend, we say 'Why not?'

It is Inauguration Weekend, after all.
Be safe. Have fun.

No comments:

Post a Comment