The answer to the question: “Why do I serve?” does not come with just one answer. I think that my main reasoning has evolved over time but that I still hold on to old reasoning as well. Growing up I was not a super volunteer like some people are– in fact I was far from it. When I went to college, I started out as a Business major mostly by way of the fact that it was easy for me to decide on that choice. But as I grew more as a religious/faithful person, I decided that I didn’t want to continue with business when I went to graduate school, but that I wanted something that was going to help people more.
I ended up going to graduate school for social work, and part of the reasoning was because it was the only grad school application that was actually completed. So I had to do something, right? It could have ended up being another unsatisfying decision but I guess I got lucky even though I was a little lazy again. I learned so much about human rights and social injustices while I was there and it sort of solidified my decision to move towards “helping people”; as cliched as that sounds. New perspectives came about and “helping people” became such a broader concept for me. For example, systems theory had a big influence on my changing world view. It was no longer “that person is poor”; it evolved to “that person is living in poverty because they grew up in a place where the education system was lacking and they weren’t awarded the same opportunities and supports to move out of poverty.”
I think that I look at myself differently now because I look at social justice/equality/human rights almost as a religion that I try to follow. I look at service as more than just something that is nice to do and that helps people out but as something that is much bigger. For me, service is something that can not only help someone out but that can potentially change a structure or change the way people think about things. I seek to not only help an individual, group, or community with a basic need in the present but I want to help make lasting change that increases well being, justice, and human rights in the future as well.