To help others and serve your community is a noble thing to do. As a man, it is important to think about others and give something back. Community service not only enriches your life, it enriches the entire community. It shows children the value of leadership and by example you role model the ideals of compassion, empathy, and caring for others. It provides you with an opportunity to connect with others and extend the well-being of a community’s sense of belonging together.
It is through serving others that you learn that everyone has areas of expertise and everything is for a season – there is a time and place for everything and everyone. It allows you to know that you can do your time and then let others do their time, in serving the needs of the community.
For many, our service is towards those we know or live around. But some seek to serve overseas in countries that are far worse off than our own. Through these experiences we grow in our understanding of environmental, economic, political, cultural, and religious beliefs and how complex the human condition is. It is through serving others in community groups, organisations, church, committees, or support groups that we cultivate our emotional health.
There are many different ways to serve our community including Apex, Lions, Rotary, and other service groups like the CFA or Search and Rescue through to sporting clubs your children are involved in such as football, netball, tennis, cricket, hockey, badminton, or basketball. Raising funds for the Salvo Appeal or the Royal Children’s Hospital or the various cancer foundations can also allow us to feel like we are contributing to things we believe in.
Schools and kindergartens need parents for working bees and this is a great way we can participate in building playgrounds or repairing things. But it can include volunteering to listen to kids who are struggling with reading and even helping them to write up stories. Our willingness to help others shows that we aren’t selfish or arrogant. It is important that we do something for our country and our community. It is part of our citizenship. It develops our character in positive ways and through positive experiences.
There are opportunities through serving to learn skills and overcome our weaknesses such as public speaking, working as part of a team, meeting new people, communication skills, and broadening our scope of conversation. But it also gives us the chance to use the skills we have from our everyday life in the community such as planning and problem solving.
For some of us, random acts of kindness is our preferred way to create a connection in our community. Simple acts or words or a smile to a stranger provides us with an opportunity to feel good and make someone else’s day. Being involved in our community can provide us with new beginnings. Where we have been bullied at school, our stunted growth can be healed by working with others and giving back to the next generation. We experience ourselves as worthy and often gain as much out of the interactions as those we are helping.
Working with those who are disadvantaged in our society, we are forced to make perceptual shifts in our beliefs and conditioning. As men we are often focused on what we can achieve as an individual. But when we join with a group, we can recognise what many hands can achieve and the power of unity.
It’s not just people that we can directly work for either. Environmental groups such as Landcare bring people together to nurture the local environment by removing noxious weeds and planting trees. It is one thing to help people manage their daily life but ensuring the planet survives is deeply rewarding.
Being involved with self-help men’s groups provides us with a unique experience of helping other men. Through education and networking we can provide men with resources and motivation to improve themselves.
Volunteering and being a role model for other men to embrace a higher level of self-worth through good health choices impacts on the wider community. A man who feels good about himself enhances the self-esteem of the whole community as he returns the positivity back to those he lives with, works with, and meets in his daily life.
Men have a lot to offer other men, and in fact, when it’s done in the right environment can provide some of the greatest growth for us. Men need to belong to other men and bond with men. It is part of our sense of masculinity. The more opportunities there are for men to work, serve, and grow together, the better the society is.
Men can resist listening to other men but some things can only be told to us by other men. That is just the way we are with each other. We notice this with young men too. They need our guidance but reject it at the time we give it. Later on they come round to our advice and wisdom when they are older and understand more about life.
What are your experiences of the Server Archetype in the men you know?