Shaking Selfish Service

Emily Willis, Staff Reporter

Are you serving for the right reasons?

At their most basic interpretation, 25 service hours is a box that students need to check off before graduation. Some students jump at the opportunity while others loathe the chore. The fact of the matter is, some students are more concerned with fulfilling the requirement than performing an act of service.

Shaking Selfish Service
Photo courtesy of Jeanette Santos-Rivera

One of the many aspects of Bishop Kenny that sets it apart from public schools and even prestigious private schools is the collective commitment to Christian service in the community. Students are required to complete 25 hours of community service throughout each school year. Beginning this school year, students must turn in these hours by the first of March; previously these hours were due in May.

The question is, do most Bishop Kenny students truly care about the service they perform?

“I find adolescents and young adults to be very generous people,” Deacon Robert DeLuca said. DeLuca, who has been teaching religion at all levels since 1975, continued by saying that he believes young people are “generous with their time and generous with their talent.”

Whether students are mentoring a special needs child at Camp I Am Special or beautifying the beach by picking up garbage, students learn that volunteering is more than just the service hours. Learning how to communicate with a disabled child and how that same child sees the world and makes it through each day, or the feeling you get when you step back and look at the beach or park you just removed 10 bags of trash from teaches a lesson that can’t be taught  in a classroom.

These intangible skills are not acquired outside of “the service hour.” They are acknowledged later, sometimes much later, during a moment of maturity. These are the things only genuine com

“Selfishness leads to acquiring things that don’t make us happy,” DeLuca said. “The real joy in life comes from the smile you see in somebody’s face because you notice them or you spend time with them.”  

Service should not be a selfish act. Students should not look at service as a requirement. They should look at service as an opportunity to do good and be good.