Here are a few resources that will help you as you continue to consider what we talked about during Formation Time on Sunday:
23 and a half hours: http://ed.ted.com/featured/Mot8KdLT
Our society tells us that service is an outward facing activity, meaning that it involves others, especially distant others. What if we turn this idea on its head? Shouldn’t service also take place in our own backyard—on campus? In our dorm? With our neighbors? With our very person? How can learn to be kind, gentle, loving and giving, if we do not treat our person in a loving, kind way? Media outlets tell us that we never have enough, we’re not pretty enough, smart enough, likable enough. Is not loving ourselves and valuing the life we have been gifted one of the greatest acts of service we can do?
As we approach this hectic time of the semester, with tests, papers and group projects, love yourself. Take time for yourself—go for a walk, enjoy a cup of tea because you can, sit underneath the shade of the trees in the Jesuit gardens, heck, sleep-in. In order to live for others, you must live for the self too. In a round-about way, I think this is what the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh hints at in the following passage:
“We talk about social service, service to the people, service to humanity, service to others who are far away, helping to bring peace to the world – but often we forget that it is the very people around us that we must live for first of all. If you cannot serve your wife or husband or child or parent – how are you going to serve society? If you cannot make your own child happy, how do you expect to be able to make anyone else happy? If all our friends in the peace movement or of service communities of any kind do not love and help each other, whom can we love and help?” (The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation). If we do not love ourselves, whom can we love and help?
Be well and love well,