Pep Talk: “Somebody's Gotta Serve”

March 26, 2017

A buddy is an avid tennis player. The other day in a meeting of government and faith leaders, while discussing ways to improve collaboration, the mentor to many blurted out something that knocked my socks off: “In tennis, and life, the game always starts with somebody serving.”
Amen to that!
The Vietnam veteran’s profound comment immediately zipped the cranium to the work of the Denver Dream Center, This wonderful community of spiritual warrior’s mission is to “Rescue People, Rebuild Lives and Restore Dreams.” It reaches out tirelessly to Denver’s most vulnerable populations with a real simple motto: “Show up. Smile. Serve.”
There’s that “serve” word again. In this crazy world in which we live these days, have we perhaps overcomplicated matters? Could it be that IF we just decided to “show up, smile and serve” we could make a difference in reducing the amount of, current,  societal suffering? We’ve got issues, folks. Anybody happy with the status quo?
A leader from Jefferson County (CO) social programs said something very powerful when stating, “The government needs to get out of the mentoring business. That’s where we need the faith-based community to really step up.”
Amen again.
On a challenge, A Stronger Cord,, was born more than three years ago. The community outreach wellness movement would love to invite all faith-based organizations, of any religious affiliation, to join the Knuckleheads in using fitness, relationship building and community service to build a stronger cord to one another. Exercise reduces stress and is a wonderful connector and equalizer. Faith-based groups reach out to communities with worship (Join us for services!), with works (Food, clothing, book drives!), right? Why not reach out with wellness? It’s easy and fruitful community outreach.
Long ago, while earning a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, many lessons were learned. None has resonated more deeply than a simple edict from professor after professor at the nation’s first, and best, journalism school: “Keep it simple, stupid.” KISS.
Service requires time. It’s something few seem to have in abundance these days. In this age of instant global communication and connection, just my opinion, our communications skills are dysfunctional and we’ve, at least in my 58 years of living, never been more divided. There’s too much discourse.
At the national and state level, expected budget cuts to social services ain’t gonna make things any better. Let’s get government out of the mentoring business and turn it over to the faith-based world. It’s encouraging to hear government leaders, like from Jeffco,  speak less about more money and more about more time. As a society, if we truly want to lessen the suffering of the less fortunate we need to SHOW THEM a different path. It’s tough to crawl out of the isolated, vulnerable and displaced crab pot if all I’m doing is hanging out with others in that same predicament. We are products of our environments, correct? 
“Somebody’s gotta serve.” Why not us? Invite your faith-based friends too.

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