Make It The Road More Travelled This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Each individual, in their own particular environment, has many opportunities each day to help others. However, the performance of good deeds is unfortunately the road less traveled. Laziness most often conquers a person's "good plans," so they remain simply plans. Whether the deed is participating in a phonothon at school or cooking turkeys for a soup kitchen at Thanksgiving - you can help in some way. Assisting others is rooted to a strong sense of love. Once you truly dedicate yourself to aiding someone and affect their life, even in the smallest way, your opinions and thoughts will never be the same again.

I volunteer at my local hospital on a regular basis doing whatever is necessary, from transporting the elderly to filing office papers. One hour is all it takes for you to witness how much you can actually aid others. While giving assistance to the elderly and ill of my city, I am simultaneously acquiring important communication skills working with diversified people under different circumstances.

If volunteering on your own doesn't work out, check your school or ask your guidance counselor for a list of community services organizations that your school may work with. For example, at my school there is the Brother Edmund Rice Society, which performs acts of compassion. After serving hot meals to the needy, speaking with and giving clothes to the indigent of New York City and singing Christmas Carols at an elderly residence, I plan to help build houses for the homeless for a program called Habitat for Humanity.

There is a call going out to everyone so listen closely. Use whatever gifts you have to make a difference in someone's life. True, committing to a particular service may include some responsibility and maybe taking a step outside of your personal comfort zone, but I believe service begins with empathy. An old proverb says "Never judge anyone until you have walked a mile in their shoes." Those few words hold more truth than you may realize. Until you can empathize with what a person is experiencing emotionally as well as physically, you cannot speak about them without it being lies.

Service leads to a tranquillity of both the mind and the body and grants you a satisfaction that is difficult to put into words. You might be the helpless one, or the hungry one or the ill one someday and it will comfort you to know that someone loves you. So instead of just suggesting ideas, put them into action. Community service does nothing but benefit. Find out how you can help someone today! fl


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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