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The most rewarding thing one can do

Why do you think there are so many service organizations in this country? It is because the single most rewarding thing a person can do in his or her life is to be of service to someone else. Satisfaction does not come from receiving. It comes from giving.

George H. W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States, passed away last Friday. He will be greatly missed by many, including his large loving family. This was a man who believed in service to others. In fact, he dedicated his life to building relationships and serving his nation, his family, and others. All political views aside, this man was a person who cared about humanity.

Service to others is not a new concept, nor is it limited to organizations or to the rich and famous. Each person can make a difference by making a decision to serve others. There are opportunities every moment to help someone in need. Sometimes it is just so much as opening a door for someone, or picking up something they dropped. Acts of kindness may seem insignificant to the giver, but it may mean a great deal to the receiver.

C.S. Lewis said, “You cannot make men good by law.” We cannot force people to be kind to others, or to want to serve. This desire comes from the heart. However, I believe we can mentor and set examples for those who do not realize the benefits of service. We can demonstrate how fulfilling these acts of kindness and service are.

About 20 years ago, I was selling newspapers on Kid’s Day in Fresno. I was standing on the corner that I had claimed a couple of years before. It was cold and windy that day. A lady drove up in her car to buy a paper from me. She saw that my hands were cold, and she took the gloves off her hands and gave them to me. I still have that pair of gloves. I will never forget that act. I don’t know her name. I don’t remember what kind of car she drove. I do not even remember what she looked like, but I will never forget that kindness.

Do you remember a time in your life when you were a child and someone was unkind to you? It was an unforgettable experience. A child will remember what seems to an adult like an insignificant event. “Always be kind to children,” my dad would say.

Acts of kindness and service to others is very healing to both the giver and the receiver. When we serve others with unselfishness and caring, we receive many benefits in return. During this wondrous holiday season, remember not only your neighbors and friends and family, but remember your community and your nation, and those less fortunate than you. Be kind to children and strangers, and to each other.

The service organizations in our community are doing good work. If you are not already involved in something that either feeds the poor, promotes education, or provides other services that help the sick or unfortunate people, I encourage you to seek ways you may be involved and be of service to others.

Have a happy holiday season.

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“God will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”

— Hebrews 6:10

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