As part of the overall development of students, schools participate in many social service activities like tree plantation, rallies, visits to orphanages or old age homes, etc. Often, these visits and activities are followed by a report, written by each student on what they did and what they learnt.
Many times, the trips are taken as a welcome break from the daily school schedule with students paying attention to what is being said simply so they can include it in their write-ups. The outing, which is undertaken with the intention of instilling the concept of service, often turns into trips of entertainment.
What students most often miss or fail to understand is that an opportunity has been presented to them to help someone, bring a smile on someone’s face by their mere presence, and learn from each other. The aim of these outings is to make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate and to understand the needs of the larger society you live in. You might think what can one person possibly do – but the power of one can make a bigger difference than you can imagine; because it has to start somewhere and here, it starts with you.
Social service also has the power to shake the set perspectives that you have. You can learn empathy, be thankful for the unlimited opportunities you have, where even the sky is not the limit. You can learn determination, the never-dying spirit from the people you meet. You can collect all these experiences and make them your own…to lead by example…to show what it means to be a leader, to be that idol for others to emulate and look up to.
So students, the next time you are going on such an outing, focus on doing service. Focus on listening, to imbibing the atmosphere, keeping your eyes, ears, mind and heart open, and living the experience.