January Brings the Gift of Service

Leslie Mattison
January 1, 2020

As we move into 2020, we see so much to look forward to this New Year. January brings the opportunity to start anew, recommit, and pivot. Yes, pivot, by building on the seeds you've already planted, the steps you've already put in motion, and the ideas we are still fleshing out.

January's theme is the Gift of Service. On January 20th, the Martin Luther King holiday, we celebrate the 25th MLK Day of Service. On this day, all people are called to this Day of Service to empower individuals, strengthen communities, bridge barriers, create solutions to social problems, and to move closer to Dr. King's vision of the "Beloved Community." As you can see, the vision for this holiday is much more than what we usually think about when we hear the word service.  I submit that we pivot and build on this more expansive view.

The idea of a Beloved Community" is synonymous with the vision of PEACE through PIE's view of PIE, meaning Peace Includes Everyone. As you know, our organization's DNA is founded on the MLK message that we are all part of the pie, no matter our gender, ethnicity, identity, social class, or education. The most precious gift we can give each other is the feeling of being valued, appreciated, and seen. Our world is hungry for this. I submit we pivot not only on the word, but also beyond the view of just one day.  It's about claiming a daily practice that we at PEACE through PIE call PIE365 - Peace Includes Everyone 365 days of the year. This is how all of us will create a culture of peace.

Here are three suggestions to consider as you pivot on how you can be of Service.

  1. Sharing - Today we are seeing more sharing of our things - renting out unused space in our homes, idle music equipment for people to give lessons, creating vacant land into community gardens. By sharing our advantages and disadvantages we open up new avenues for others to experience different points of view, and lived experiences, thus providing a broader perspective. Sharing of thought and ideas, helps us to be better thinkers and more inclusive in how our choices impact others. Sharing helps all of us all grow stronger together.
  2. Connecting - Learning to be a bridger, someone who looks for ways to connect instead of divide is also another quality of service. By bringing people into the fold, you'll build stronger communities and see barriers break down. As more of us learn this skill, we will see less people feeling unwanted, unconnected, isolated and lonely. These feelings are often the precursor that negatively impact our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Imagine the impact to our families, work groups, and friends when we take the time to reach out and touch.
  3. Giving & Receiving - We usually think of service through the prism of Giving. We give because it makes us feel good. The secret to giving though is learning to appreciate being both a giver and receiver. When Giving and Receiving is in balance, like Yin & Yang, abundance flows. We can practice being intentionally givers and receivers on a daily basis, while also recognizing how others are receiving our giving. Connecting with a cause that you are passionate about, one where your unique gifts are appreciated is a good example of giving and receiving. So, directing your skills, time, dollars and connections to make a difference is one example of being of service in balance.

As you move through your day, think about the many ways you can intentionally be of service to others. Explore how you are sharing, connecting and giving and receiving. You'll find just being more aware of it will help to create stronger bonds between yourself and others. Consider having a PEACE through PIE Social around the topic of service, where you exchange views on how you've pivoted on your view of service and how it's being incorporated into your daily life. We'd love to hear all about it.