Monthly Archives: November 2011

Service = Happiness


“If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.”   by Booker T. Washington

When I was a junior in high school my best friend left for college.  I spent the next six weeks being down about her leaving.  I decided not to run track that year (something I loved doing) as part of my self-imposed end to a happy life. Looking back I see that it was ridiculous, but at the time I was unhappy.  One night my Dad took me for a walk.  He asked me why I was down. I told him. Then he proceeded to give me some of the best advice I have ever been given.

He told me that when he feels down (and selfish) he finds someone to serve.  He said when he serves others he forgets about his problems and feels better about life.

That talk with my Dad changed my unhappy junior year. It changed my life. I started looking for service opportunities and ended up involved and happy.

Many of my happy moments in life come from serving others. They are moments that I cherish. Three years ago one of my friends died of cancer. It was a hard thing to watch. I tried to help her whenever I could. I am so grateful for the happy moments I spent helping her.

Reader’s Digest lists volunteering (or serving others) as one of “20 Simple Ways to Get Happy”. The article said that helping others helps you see your own problems in a different light.  Serving others also helps your physical well being. A 2007 study found that people who serve others, especially the elderly, are healthier.

Serving others has led to many happy moments in my life.  I hope you find a happy moment today by lifting someone else.