What better way to end my first blog series than with Sigma Kappa’s fourth value, service!
Service is not a simple word. It has a broad definition encompassing many ways to serve others, organizations, your state, and your country. To put it simply, service is the act of helping or doing work for others without seeking anything in return. True service is done with no intention other than to help others and make a positive impact in your community.
When completing service, we are bettering ourselves and those around us. No matter how small the act of service, it is important to remember you are spreading positivity and inspiring those around you to return the favor you bestowed upon them.
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” -Aesop
Those who do service regularly are generally more organized, responsible, and sympathetic. These qualities transfer over to your professional life and are beneficial when applying for potential jobs. Employers like applicants who have shown a history of helping others and making a positive impact in their community. Although completing service does look great on a résumé, there are also many other benefits to completing service that are often overlooked.
In a study produced by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the results found that there is a strong correlation between an individual’s health and volunteer work. Those that volunteered on a regular basis were shown to have lower mortality rates, lower rates of depression, and better overall health compared to those who did not volunteer.
Service also provides an opportunity for growth. Stepping outside your normal environment to help others can open your eyes to community issues, problems being faced by those less fortunate than you, and can enhance your outlook on your own life. Helping others also develops a heightened sense of personal and social responsibility as well as giving back to others. By putting yourself in environments that are not normal to you, you are also able to develop your understanding of diversity and multicultural issues.
One of the best benefits of service is the relationships you build with those around you. Some of the most meaningful friendships you develop over your lifetime can come from volunteering. Whether it was with someone in a group you were volunteering with, the organization you were volunteering for, or the actual people who were benefitting from your service, there are opportunities to develop positive friendships that will last a lifetime.
“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” – John Holmes