Green River Star -

By Lu Sweet
Western Wyoming Community College 

Lifelong learning: Service

 

March 29, 2017



I recently read an article by Mark Anthony Garrett in the November/December 2016 magazine “Fostering Families Today”. It’s an article called “Service is Everything: Seven Steps to Providing Outstanding Service.”

In the article, Garrett lists and describes the seven steps he feels are important to service. He breaks them down using the letters S-E-R-V-I-C-E. I enjoyed this article very much, as I absolutely believe in service.

I want to share it with you all, but first I want to share with you, my own definition of “service.” As I see it, service is the act of helping others. It is kindness, doing a favor, lending a helping hand, giving back and enriching others through action or work.

To me, service is something you can give regardless of your level of education or the amount of money you have. It is absolutely how I was raised to be and how I have raised my children: to continually find opportunity to serve. Because of this, I believe I am a very “rich” person.

The first of Garett’s Seven Steps to Providing Outstanding Service is S=Sharing. I know we all feel that every minute of our time is valuable, but even if we can give an hour a week, we can make a huge difference to someone. It’s important to share your time with others.

The second step is E=Experience. I love the saying by Maya Angelou that goes, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you make them feel.” I have some people in my life that are so important to me-they helped shape who I am. I can’t recall exact conversations with them, but I can absolutely tell you how they have made me feel and why they are important to me.

Next is R=Relationships. It is crucial to create positive relationships with those you serve. This is especially true when working with young people. It is so important to model the behaviors we want them to emulate. Attitude is contagious. If you are positive to others, they will feel better about themselves and hopefully, pay it forward as well.

Fourth is V=Value. Helping others is priceless. You absolutely cannot put a price tag on helping others. Think about how you have felt when you helped someone and you know you’ve made a difference.

The fifth step is I=Integrity. It is critical to give honestly of yourself. Integrity is everything. It’s one of those intangibles and it makes all the difference in the world. Being able to trust people is paramount to who we are as people.

Next comes C=Commitment. You must be committed not just to serve but also to follow through in your service, always giving your best. It’s not enough just to “show up.” When we commit to someone or something, it means we are there to give our all and we are vested in their success as one of our own outcomes.

Finally E=Excellence. There is good service and then there is excellent service. It is important to strive for excellence in all you do. Mistakes will surely happen, but striving to do the best that you can for yourself and for others is what you can do, so you should!

This article was a great reminder to me about the importance of serving others and striving to enrich the lives of those around me by giving freely of myself.

For me, when all is said and done, it’s how I treat other human beings around me that determines what kind of person I am.

 

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