November 19, 2009

Being in Service - Vs a "Selfish Clod"

In a post a while back, I shared a quote about being in service to community written by George Bernard Shaw. It's from his piece titled, One True Joy:  

This is the one true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.

When working with young males, whenever possible, I believe it's important to help them connect with their community through service projects. When that happens, the community benefits, and young guys get all those good feelings that come from contributing and making their corner of the world a better place. By volunteering for community service projects with a young male, either individually or in groups, you are demonstrating that helping others is a valuable masculine trait.

If you're at all inclined to take on this kind of activity, there is a wonderful resource that can help. It's a web service called VolunteerMatch. The folks at VM say, VolunteerMatch strengthens communities by making it easier for good people and good causes to connect. If you go to their website and click on the Search tab, you can plug in your zip code and get a great list of nearby organizations who need volunteers. I plugged in my home town of Minneapolis, MN, and in two seconds was presented with 1647 opportunities.

Clearly there is a need for volunteers somewhere near you. I can promise that if you try a day of serving others, you, and the young males who participate with you, will have a very interesting experience, and all be moved along on your journey to manhood.


  1. Anonymous11:00 PM

    Wow, I really like this post. love the quote, love the call to action.

    A nobel peace prize was given once to lady in africa who matched up poor people with people who were poorer than they. amazing how their lives changed.

  2. Gary K.9:45 AM

    Hi Earl,

    I really love this quote from Shaw! I printed it out and attached it to a picture of a torch being passed from one man to another. I laminated it and gave a copy to my mentee as part of our blessing him on the occasion of his leaving for college.

    I agree that we need to be doing more community service events with our J-men. I will certainly push for that. I would like to spend a weekend or week with my new mentee next summer working with Habitat for Humanity.

    Thanks for your continual efforts to inspire and inform men to become mentors.


Your response to this blog post is appreciated and welcome.