“Oh great, dad. So you got yourself arrested?”
I confusedly looked over at Kyle, who I had just picked up from the school. It was only moments after I had told him where I was earlier this morning, and why. “Huh?”
“You said you were doing community service.”
Ah, now I get where he was going with this. It’s his subtle way of telling jokes based on what people around him say. He actually seems rather skilled at it, in an eleven year old’s fashion anyway. With time and practice I suspect he’ll be a snappy comedic wizard somewhere down the road.
I chuckle, “No, no. I said that the group I just joined is all about community service.”
This morning, I was officially inducted into my town’s Rotary Club. It’s been a long time coming. I’ve been interested in what they (ahem, now we) do for a couple decades but I wasn’t in the right headspace for it yet. I had obligations to fulfill. Family and work and self-development were my encompassing all.
The catalyst to this new step ended up being Nathaniel. He won a Rotary award for “Service Before Self” at his grade eight graduation and I encouraged him to go to the club to thank them for the honour in person. There was a moment of grumbling, more based on nerves than manners but he relented (ok, I was a little more insistent on this than I usually am, and Melanie supported me 100% on the pressure), but when we got to the meeting he was in his element. He figured it out on his own. He put his hand up and offered his services to the group at large. I couldn’t be more proud.
I was astonished to discover that Nate was the first recipient of the award to ever thank the club. That piece of information triggered something for me. I needed to see what I can do to motivate youth to step up and take initiative. To take joy in volunteerism the same way I do. I needed to step up myself if I was to encourage the youth to step out. The timing is right
I am looking forward to what I can do for my town and beyond, and to work alongside a great group of similarly minded individuals. To be motivated and to motivate in turn. To turn the word volunteer amongst a great proportion of youth from just a thing they have to do for school into what they should want to do.
It makes our community better.
It makes us better.