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Very often, I meet people who do not believe that they can make a substantial contribution to the world in which they live. In fact, many small people in various small places do different small things that can alter the face of the world. I am one of them, trying to help others because I am persuaded that the good that one does to others will inevitably come back to them.

Martin Luther King once said that every person may be a great person is he/he servers others with his/her heart full of sympathy, mercy, and love. Serving people may be a challenge, but it has always been something that really makes me feel good inside. There are a lot of opportunities to serve those who need our help, either with skills, money, time, etc. I find sheer delight in helping others without concern for reward or recognition.

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Whatever I do, I keep in mind Quincy Jones's words, namely: “Imagine what a harmonious world it could be if every single person, both young and old, shared a little of what he is good at doing”. I cannot but agree with this statement. We are not omnipotent to help everybody but certainly, we can be of service to others. The only things that are required are a heart full of love for people and a strong desire to make somebody’s life better or happier.

By serving others, I do not mean quid pro quo, which is doing good deeds expecting the other person(s) to do the same in return. I am speaking about the acts of unselfish kindness and unconditional generosity that determine our good nature, add meaning to life, and, moreover, sustain the lives of others. In this sense, every person regardless of their income, social status, race, ethnicity culture, and religion deserves one’s time and attention. I am convinced that unselfish service is determined by such traits as modesty, humility, and patience, which are hard to find in the modern world of egoism, individualism, and competitiveness.

Stephen Smith's Five Ways to Serve Others

Stephen Smith presents five ways to achieve happiness through serving others. The first is to show respect and practice courtesy. By paying attention to small things like smiles, words of gratitude, and simple acts of help we can make someone else’s day brighter. Another advice is to listen more and speak less. When listening to the other person, we show genuine interest in what they say. Being a good listener is an art that everybody has to learn. The third way of serving others is to give praise. Smith reminds us to bear in mind that people should be praised in public and punished in private. This advice works for restoring relationships. Another important thing that Smith emphasizes is to keep our promises. Indeed, the best way to serve others is to stick to the promises we make, and people will reward us with trust, which makes the world a happy place to live in. The last but not the least significant advice is to practice forgiveness. Holding grudges against others is “a blemish on your soul”. Forgiving is a great way to serve, especially when people do not want our forgiveness. By forgiving we lift the burden off our shoulders. Practicing all of the above mentioned things gives me a sense of happiness and contentment.

Helping others makes our lives meaningful and purposeful. Nothing else can be more rewarding than serving people with love. Yet, many do not consider it a good option. We may not have time, resources, special skills, and do not know how to start. The world seems too big and problems seem so numerous that serving others will probably make no difference.

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Transforming the Lives of Others in the Book The Power of Serving Others

In the book The Power of Serving Others, Gary Morsch and Dean Nelson persuade that everybody can contribute something to transform the lives of others, especially those who surround us every day. They teach us how to overcome mental blocks that prevent us from feeling the joy of serving others through daily acts of service. The co-authors weave their experiences together to tell true and moving stories that took place in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Calcutta, and in the United States. These stories are about people of different status and professions who have found a deep sense of contentment through simple acts of service. The people in the book courageously help to deal with the problems like combating AIDS in Africa, restoring buildings after Hurricane Katrina and the Asian tsunami, and dressing the wounds of soldiers in the Balkan civil war. The book conveys a crucial message – no matter who we are and what position we fill, we can enrich the lives of others through serving them. This book has taught me to appreciate the time I have and make the best use of my skills and talents.

Many of us dream to change the world for the better. We should begin with small things, meeting one need at a time. Having good intentions, I try to follow them. Once, I was mowing my lawn and noticed that my neighbor’s grass was also long and I decided to help. I think I made the right investment of my time and efforts and was rewarded with a cup of tea and words of thanks. I find pleasure in the power that comes from serving others and sense of happiness and fulfillment that it gives.

Serving Others with Talents and Gifts

Serving others with my talents and gifts is the ultimate purpose of my life. Not so long ago, I have gone to do voluntary work in the domestic violence charity organization. My main duties consisted in interacting with the clients and occasionally serving customers at the café. One woman shared her story and reasons why she decided to resort to the help of the organization. She has been experiencing domestic violence for a few years. She and the abuser have two children aged three and five. Both children were born out of wedlock, and the man was forced into the marriage because of the cultural beliefs. The woman is thirty one years old and she explained that she never provoked her husband. She tolerated abuse, for her husband always apologized after he had hit her. She reported the case because her mother and friends insisted on the decisive actions. She is also convinced that it is disrespectful for a woman to stand up to a man, and she would rather endure constant beating rather than contradict her husband. From what I have learned from this particular woman, I can conclude that she is guided by her cultural beliefs and needs to be persuaded to change her attitude of a martyr.

The woman informed me that she did not want any lectures from me, thus, my role was to be an attentive listener. I was listening carefully and let the woman get an emotional burden off her chest. From time to time, I tried to support and encourage her by giving striking examples of women who found courage to free themselves from abusive relationships and start to enjoy their lives. I also emphasized that the first step is always difficult to take. She agreed on some points but was hesitant about making crucial and life-changing decisions.

I prepared for, and worked with individuals, families, carers, groups, and communities to assess their needs and circumstances. I also planned, carried out, reviewed, and evaluated social work practice with individuals, families, carers, groups, communities and other professionals. I think I was successful in addressing and meeting the service users’ needs, investing my time and energy into helping them to find the appropriate solutions to their problems.

During my practice, I tried to protect the rights and promote interests of service users and carers, as well as establish and maintain the trust and confidence of service users and carers. Honesty, reliability, and confidentiality helped me to establish the effective cooperation with both service users and carers.

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The Domestic Violence Charity Organization

In order to better understand battered women and give effective responses, I have exploited the major theories of violence, which focus on different causes of domestic violence. The most helpful were biopsychosocial perspective, exchange theory, social learning theory, marital power theory, traumatic bonding theory, culture of violence theory, and feminist theory. All these theories provide an in-depth analysis of human relationships, especially those within the family, and contribute to forming the right attitude towards the victims of violence. I relied on theoretical knowledge and applied it when expressing my views and suggesting the appropriate course of action.

I have not observed any instances of violation of the individuals’ rights within the premises of the charity organization. As a matter of fact, I showed respect for cultural, language, and religious backgrounds of the service users, thus extinguishing any signs of unfairness and inequality on my part. The only disadvantage that I have encountered is the reluctance to accept advice from a person who has no similar experience. Nevertheless, I have noticed that women are eager to talk with each other about their family problems and children. The woman, whom I have mentioned, was more willing to share her problems with me than anybody else. I think she appreciated my unobtrusive remarks and undivided attention to her abusive experience.

The domestic violence charity organization operates basing on the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which came into force in 1994. According to this federal law, every woman has the right to be protected from the offender. It allows a victim to bring a suit against an abuser in civil court. The implementation of VAWA act in the work of the domestic violence charity organization is aimed at making society healthier and more stable. By fighting violence against women, the society and government secure the human rights and set an exemplary model for other countries to follow.

The voluntary work at the domestic violence charity organization was a good personal and professional experience. I have learned how to properly address domestic violence problems and what advice to give the battered women, basing on both theoretical and practical knowledge. Every case is exceptional and requires great attention to the individual, the circumstances in which they live, and also their values and beliefs.

Helping others is about making their lives better or even happier. By transforming other people’s lives, we transform ourselves, becoming more tolerant, sensitive, and compassionate. I am convinced that no matter who we are, and regardless of our age, social status, and skills, we can enrich our lives through serving others. As Mother Teresa once stated: “We can do no great things; only small things with great love”.

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