Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence: Why do you serve?

I asked fellow corps member Madeline Montgomery about why she serves? Check out her answer.

Why do you serve?

I serve because I can.  Because I have energy to spare, and because not to expend it where there is a need would contradict everything I believe about being human.

I serve because I need to.  Because the fifth grade girls I teach understand their self worth as a measure of their social success, and because the boys see so many violent role models that they speak threats with every exhale.

I serve because this is unacceptable. 

But on the simplest, day-to-day motivating level, I serve because I enjoy serving.  Because reading a story for half an hour with a student– a ten-year-old who shoos me away when I approach and snarls when I speak, but is slowly beginning to allow me to sit next to him– gives me such an overwhelming rush of gratitude that I can’t imagine doing anything else. 

I serve because I can, because I need to, and because I want to; I am grateful for serving.

-Madeline Montgomery-ISPN member at Carnevale Elementary School and Knight Memorial Library

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