Name: Christian Joseph Mouser
From: Harvey, LA
School: Helen Cox High School
Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength
lies. Mother Teresa
I almost didn’t write this essay. After reading those posted, I felt small and insignificant. Someday my time will come, but for now, I can only do the small things that I hope will contribute something to the life of those I come in contact with.
You see, I haven’t gone to other parts of the world to help struggling villages. I haven’t saved any turtles, or dug any water wells. I don’t have the money to travel, or reliable transportation to get to and from the organizations that need help.
Webster defines a volunteer as “one who offers himself for any service or undertaking.” I qualify under that definition.
Here’s how I think; It seems the more we progress with technology and social media, the less we actually interact in a meaningful way with those whose lives we may touch in some small way. We spend hours talking to people we don’t really know, will probably never meet, and will never share a meal with.
Look around. Every day we pass people that look as though life is a burden they don’t want to carry. How many times have you seen a cashier or stock clerk who seems worn out? How often have you stopped at a red light where a homeless person was begging for money but you just looked straight ahead, pretending not to see them?
Yes, I volunteer at a hospital (Ochsner) within walking distance of my home. Not because I need the time for “service hours” to graduate, but because I want to have a small part in helping families. I know from experience how hard it can be when a close family member is sick or dying. I only work in the lobby answering phones and telling people which room their loved one is in, but sometimes those small things matter.
At the store when
I see an elderly person checking prices on cans and adding it up, I
will give the cashier a few extra dollars to put toward their total.
I compliment workers who seem stressed, by telling them I notice how hard they work and I mention them to the manager, and give hugs or notes to friends who are sad.
When I see a police officer, I tell them how much I value them, and since I live close to a military base, I like to thank the soldiers for their service.
If I know someone in the neighborhood is struggling, I will leave a bag of groceries outside their door, and I give hugs or jokes to friends I know are sad.
I will get a degree in political science and then I will help find and develop strategies and policies that will contribute in significant ways, but until then, I will do all I can to ease the suffering, hopelessness and misery of real people in my own neighborhoods.