13 December 2012

Serving Others

Good day dear one. Glad to be with you again.

Before the curtains came down on the year 2011, Aunty Funmi of Vanguard Newspaper and I went to The Girl’s Remand Home in Idi Araba. Willows Magazine had done a project which we decided to cap with a visit and I thought it would be cool for the girls to meet my cool friend who works with a well respected newspaper. Guess what was on our agenda? Service.

Usually when young people think about success they think about how to lead; yet no one can be a good leader without first learning to serve. What does it mean to serve? To serve is to provide assistance or help to someone who needs it. Some get paid for serving, like National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members but others do it voluntarily and this kind of service is called selfless service.

We offered our selfless service by spending quality time to speak, dance, sing, laugh, play and pray with the girls. At the end of the worthwhile session, we donated books we had collected through the “Just One Book” project.

So have you served anyone lately? Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? It would be nice to read your stories.

Whether you have had an opportunity to serve or not, you can plan to serve today. You can offer to serve at home, in school, at play or even in your community. For instance you can begin a Pen Club. Tell at least one person about your idea then, plan how you want to go about it. It is important to have a project start and project end date. After executing the project, you need to sit with the participants to talk about what you did well and what you can do better next time.

So if it is a Pen Club and you got 3 friends to buy into the idea and decided to use empty well decorated shoe boxes with openings to collect pens, you would need to put them in strategic places, publicise the announcement with a skit on the assembly ground or fliers on notice board and decide on who would be responsible for collecting the dropped pens.

So how can you serve by collecting pens? A day before exams or tests, you could go from class to class to give a couple of pens to teachers. That way, anyone who runs out of pen may collect FOC (free of charge). If you have many pens at the end of the school term, you can pick a day when you will visit a market to give pen to traders. Next time, you may see the need to add jotters so the traders can consider using the pen and jotter to write their daily sale. You could also place the pens in a corner of the library for students to write their “stories or worries”. All the writings can be compiled, typed, reviewed and shared with others at the end of the term.

When I decided to use the example of starting a pen club, I had no idea there was already anything like that but out of curiosity, I checked online and I saw pen clubs here and there but from one to the other, the aim was different.

To serve selflessly is to freely give for the benefit of others. Like the story of the pen club, from one St. Valentine story to the other there may be differences but one thing that is constant is that the story is associated with service and love. Instead of letting anyone slice your destiny and taint your moral upbringing with the price of your sexuality; decide on how to truly serve this St. Valentine Day.

The plan for the International Children’s Day of Broadcasting (ICDB) is still on; if you are in Lagos, you can serve by enlisting your school or group. Send a mail to Aunty Abike via willowsmagazine@gmail.com.

Remember the words of our National Anthem which says: Arise, o compatriots, Nigeria's call obey, to serve our Fatherland, with love and strength and faith... Giovanni John Florio (1553–1625), also put it succinctly when he said, “Who has not served cannot command”.

If you will command someday, serve today.

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