A Life of Service

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I was blown away this week by the example set by Elizabeth Bonker. At 15 months, she was diagnosed with nonverbal autism. Last Sunday, she gave the valedictorian speech at Rollins College.

Her speech and her journey are inspirational. Encouraging her classmates to use their voices, she said:

“God gave you a voice. Use it. And no, the irony of a non-speaking autistic encouraging you to use your voice is not lost on me. Because if you can see the worth in me, then you can see the worth in everyone you meet.”

The core of her message was based on another Rollins alum, Mr. Rogers: Life is for service.  As he noted,

“Anything that we can do to help foster the intellect and spirit and emotional growth of our fellow human beings, that is our job. Those of us who have this particular vision must continue against all odds. Life is for service.”

Life is for service. It bears repeating.

If you type “the benefits of serving others” into Google Search, you will find a plethora of benefits to a life of service. Rather than doing that, however, think about how you felt when you were able to give another person a helping hand and when someone gave you a helping hand.

Pay attention to what is happening in your body once you started thinking about these moments. Feels good, doesn’t it? You can generate more of that with a mindset of Life is for Service.

The great thing is that it’s often the small things that matter most to people – a smile or a hug, an ear that is actually listening, small kindnesses – allowing people to be seen and feel heard.

This is something we can all do and be.

This Week’s Challenge: Listen to her roughly 6-minute speech and accept her challenge.

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  1. doug brady on May 17, 2022 at 3:37 pm

    Excellent ME!
    Thanks for sharing.

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