What Does Service Mean to You?
By Karen Ballum on November 14, 2012
As I've confessed, I'm not one for making life maps or vision boards. That said, I really appreciated how Kate and David Marshall's new book, My Life Map: A Journal to Help Shape Your Future, made me take a good hard look at some aspects of my life that I really had been neglecting. One of those aspects was service.
"What responsibilities or missions have been meaningful to you? Think about all you have done for your family, your local community, and the world at large: caring for children or an elder, helping a friend in need, serving on a committee, volunteering, donating to or supporting a cause, or being politically engaged." Page 26
When I was working through the various questions in My Life Map about service, I realized that I actually think about service quite a lot. I frequently wonder if I should give money to x or y charity. I keep looking at the volunteering forms for my local library. I feel I should do more, but I don't always know where or what that more should be.
I was starting to feel rather guilty. It's not hard to feel like I don't give enough of my time. Then I came to another set of questions about service that asked if I preferred to give time or money, and I realized something important -- I was not alone. There are many people who give more money than time. It made me think about why it is that I generally prefer to give money or donate items. I came to the conclusion that I feel like my money can go further and accomplish more things than I could with my time. That's not to say that I should only give money -- I can easily make the argument that I could be move giving with my time as well -- but until My Life Map made me sit down and really thing about it, I hadn't realized how guilty I was feeling about only giving money. I'll probably still continue to stare at those volunteer forms a bit longer, but in the interim a weight I didn't realize I was carrying has been lifted.
What does service look like in your life map? Are you more likely to give time, money or both?
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