This is part 2 of Processing Treasure, an ongoing reflection in preparation for submitting my final LEVN blog post, exploring the ways in which LEVN has impacted the way that I perceive myself and my “top five” values.

Service to Others, to Society

This one was always on the list, but this year trained me to give myself permission to truly love that it is on the list, to recognize that no matter how self-centered or capitalistic the world expects me to be, I don’t have to care. I can still focus on giving, serving, helping.

Part of my work at LSS was with their social enterprise bookstore, YSGB (Youth Simply Giving Back). The point, they frequently had to remind me in the first few months, was not to earn money but to be a safe place for youth to gain work experience and develop work-related skills.

I kept thinking, why can’t it do both? I mean, I know that it’s very rare to be able to maximize two goals, especially goals that are not already correlated in some way. But you don’t have to maximize both. Applying knowledge of bookstore work, I increased the efficiency of the online bookstore, and, more importantly, provided more in-depth and varied work experience for clients.

Service to others is not necessarily a sacrifice of self or possessions; rather, it involves acknowledging service as a priority when it comes to the forks in the road: service or material gain. (They are not necessarily mutually exclusive.)

I will continue my reflection on these values in tomorrow’s post.

How about you? How has your life been impacted by service to others, either service done by yourself or by others?