Think about where you are in life right now and how far you have come. Amazing isn’t it? Now think of all the people that have assisted you along the way. You know, those that steered you in the right direction when you were headed left…or those that offered you profound words of wisdom when facing life’s toughest challenges…or even those who were your cheerleaders while you pursued your endeavors. Why did these people go out of their way to make sure you were okay? The answer is simple. We are not put on this Earth to serve ourselves, but each other!

Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending BloomFest, which is sponsored by The Flourish Foundation, Inc., an Atlanta-based non-profit organization. The foundation is dedicated to encouraging young women to thrive beyond expectations while focusing on stimulating emotional and physical growth through personal development training. The organization’s signature event, rallied young middle school girls from around the metro Atlanta area to discuss inner beauty, leadership, and love. Imagine how honored I was when asked to speak to them!

As I watched several of the participants shuffle through the doors, I became nostalgic about what life was like for me during that time. The 6th grade was a very awkward stage for me! I didn’t understand beauty, leadership, or love. I had my preconceived notions about what these things implied, but wasn’t sure how valid they were. I do, however, remember having crazy ambition, with no direction. I thought about how much more powerful I would be today if I had more guidance back then. Currently, I teach high school, so I knew that I would be in for an interesting time with the group. It was VERY interesting and rewarding, to say the least!

After speaking with the young ladies about the true power they possess to change the world, I at once became LIBERATED! I knew that out of the 50 girls I spoke to that I had reached at least five of them. Now, I know that might not seem like a lot, but trust me when I say this speaks VOLUMES as an educator. My time spent with them might have given them a new perspective on life. This opportunity reminded me of how important it is to serve. As I headed towards the door, *Lisa* ran up to me and gave me a hug. She then thanked me and told me that she would be emailing me soon. At that moment, I realized that one of the most phenomenal gifts you can give to anyone in need is your time.

Several studies have been conducted on “compassionate helping” and great discoveries have been made. Community service has been linked to more happiness, better health, stress reduction, longer lifespan, and career enhancement. Understand that it is your duty to serve others! Your life is your message to the world. It’s up to you to help shape the change that you want to see.

MLK said it best when stating, Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?

By Dr. Avis Foley

Co-Publisher, Purpose Weekly

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