Serving – Not Sex. Sorry to excite anyone.


I remember as a kid my mother would always volunteer my brother Jimmy and I for various activities. We did everything from painting a rectory’s basement to cleaning a convent. In retrospect, “volunteers” was the wrong word to describe our status; “indentured servants,” would have been a more accurate description.

As you might predict, the anticipation of these activities was met with resentment. “How could you do this to us mom?” we would ask. “No one else has to do these things!” we would protest. She would stand her ground and give us a look that suggested, “Someday you will understand.”

A strange thing would happen, though, once we were engaged in one of these activities. We would start to have fun; not in the “spoonful of sugar sense” of Mary Poppins as we were not creative enough to make a game out of it. No, we started to have fun because, deep down inside, it made us feel good to do these things.

Damn, I hate it when my mother is right!

We are told that we are only truly giving of ourselves when we expect nothing in return for our actions. What a freeing concept! Doing something for someone else out of the pure goodness of our heart. These can take the form of random acts of kindness (i.e. helping a stranger change a tire) to premeditated activities (i.e. completing project pro-bono for a non profit).

I will admit, I am in need of inspiration heading into this weekend. What have you done recently that may fit this criteria? Better yet, can you recall any times when you were the beneficiary of such activities? Thanks in advance for sharing!