My Dear Fellow Challengers,
The nights are getting cooler, the mosquitos are dying away and summer is drawing to a close, which means the Challenge year is just getting ready to roar back to life. Although autumn will bring cooler weather, I look forward to seeing and feeling the warmth of your smiles and embraces in September. As people say summer is a time for slowing down and reflecting I thought that in this blog I would share with you what has been on my mind over the summer.
This summer, I have thought a lot about service. What does it mean for us to serve one another? I think that Challenge is a really great place to explore this idea, as each one of us is given opportunities to serve our Challenge Community on a regular basis. Some of us get to sit on executive, some of us are asked to serve on teams, some of us serve at Ultreyas, or serve others by bringing a snack to a post challenge event, and some of are even serving each other just by being present, listening and witnessing to those around us. And what I have come to realize, is that serving is not the magnitude of a gesture, but the amount of sacrifice that goes into it.
When I say sacrifice, I do not mean that serving has to be a painful process, but often times we are giving something up. Whether it’s an extra hour of our own free time to bake some cookies, Sunday afternoons for team meetings, or even chatting with someone new at Ultreya instead of hanging out with people we have been waiting to see all week! Serving is the opportunity to go outside our own desires to lift up and love others.
However, some of you may be thinking that you want to serve the community in the big ways! Like someday you may aspire to give a talk or even be a weekend co-director! And that is awesome! However, I say to you – enjoy serving each other in the smaller ways while you can, because it is honestly what I enjoy doing the most in our movement. Now, the way that I serve you, is somewhat different than the way you serve each other because it is much more administrative. I miss that the focus of my service to the movement is no longer solely in forging friendships, in being a table leader and just hanging out at Ultreyas. Your small acts of service are, in my mind, the ones that have the greatest impact, and the ones upon which we build our community.
So, what I say to you at the end of these summer months is jump in! Get involved! Meet those new people! None of the administrative work of the executive will have any meaning if you do not serve and love each other in the community! Your acts of loving service are the foundation our movement is based upon.