When people hear us say that a life of serving is the ultimate benchmark of having “fired one’s excuses” their thoughts often go to their level of involvement in local charities, international relief organizations and their kid’s sports equipment drive. We support such big serving activities too.
At their best, these campaigns and causes can have a tremendous impact on the classroom, the community and the world. They can teach citizenship, make a difference for those suffering with debilitating diseases and mountainous challenges, and help to rescue those suffering gross social injustices and poverty. But, at their worst, these big, public, serving activities can devolve into mandatory social obligations, feel far removed from real life, and even become “trendy.” Most of us have attended charity events that felt more like a place “to see and be seen.” Or, we have received correspondence from a company whose charitable or ecofriendly campaign appeared to be nothing more than a thinly-veiled marketing attempt to be seen as caring.
We’d like to encourage you to expand your view of service by going “small,” by thinking with us about creative, highly impactful and, in many cases, anonymous ways of “serving small.” This type of serving is one-to-one, impacting those you know well and those you don’t but with whom your lives intersect daily.
Here are 10 easy but powerful ways you can start serving small:
- Reach out to three of your LinkedIn connections each week and ask: “What are you working on (more formal) or “what are you up to these days? (less formal, for a closer colleague or friend.) Anything I can do to help?”
- Text three people and simply say: “I am thinking about you today, how are you doing with ______[insert challenge, big project, or blessing here.] If you are spiritually-minded you might say, “I know you are [dealing with a big challenge/decision, etc.] Just wanted to let you know I am think about you and praying for you today.”