Becoming the Best Versions of Ourselves Through Service

by Dagne Furth

I have always been passionate about the sacrifice of service. From a very young age, I recall my father taking our family to volunteer at local soup kitchens and homeless shelters. He ensured we wore modest clothing, smiled and looked everyone in the eye. He was always emphatic about modeling a generosity of spirit and kindness, especially to those less fortunate.

In today's world, inundated with suffering and a disparity of resources, I think the notion of meaningful service is essential. Everyone needs to be doing their part.

Thus, our young -- the embodiment of hopeful, educated empathetic and innovative changemakers -- have a unique opportunity before them.

They can either choose to ignore the problem of suffering and stand by the sidelines, or they can engage. If they choose the latter -- to repeatedly give of their time, talent and heart -- I argue that they will not only fulfill their moral obligation to the world, but become the best versions of themselves.

I believe that authentic and meaningful service, executed with discipline and commitment, is what counts. It's the most important thing of all and, if it feels difficult, then you're doing it right.

Sam B, Helen Z, Claire Z, Evelyn S and Patrick R are doing it right. Here are their stories.