ORIGINAL POST: 7 Sept 2008
Humanity is rather odd. There are many people in the world who do things to be seen and praised for doing them.
There are people in every profession like this:
There are photographers who take photos for the sole reason for people to pat them on the back and say, "Wow! That's a great photo!"
There are athletes that play sports for the single reason to be idolized by young people.
There are musicians who do their thing only because they want people to ask for their autograph... or they want people to reach onto the stage to be touched by them as if their touch means anything at all.
There are preachers and people in the church who get up and speak with the intention of hearing themselves speak.
Then, there are those who you will never see in the papers. You will never see them in photographs on the AP/Getty/Reuters wire. In fact, they may be completely anonymous...
...and those are the people who I envy.
Before school started, the incoming freshmen arrive a few days early for a program called "New Student Impact." Well, as a photographer for the school, I naturally document as much as possible. Among the little icebreaker sessions and awkward "themed dinners" in the dining hall, the new students also have the opportunity to go out into the community and do a little community service.
Sure, there were the trash picker-uppers and the window washers, but there was also a certain group who went to a group home for mentally handicapped adults... to do anything... anything that needed to be done... or any service that they might be able to fulfill.
This is where I go.
They went there not quite expecting what they would be doing. I mean, what do you really do there?
So, they started outside... just cleaning the grounds and making the patio look nice.
But it wasn't long before they ventured inside.
After all, they were there for anything...
Whether it was reorganizing a closet, putting up a curtain, or vacuuming the floor, these guys took to their task without a single reservation.
As the freshmen did a few odd-jobs around the house they talked to the residents... not only talked but played cards, read to them, and discussed their favorite movies.
And these guys and girls were not forced to do it... they weren't required by anyone. It was in a schedule for a certain afternoon, but if they had not shown up, nobody would have known the difference...
...but because they showed up they made a difference.
They made a difference to the residents of that group home.
I would dare say they were missed as soon as they left.
I would also say it is a good thing to be missed when doing things such as this.
Nobody else knew that a dozen 18 and 19 year-olds did what they did one Saturday afternoon. Does it matter? To the residents it does.
It is good to do good for the sake of doing good.