It's been amazing to see the incredible teens who are converging for our summer internship
Below's a thoughtful excerpt from Anha, one of our soon-to-be interns (who, incidentally, we've known since
she was a little kiddo :))!
What draws you to intern with ServiceSpace? What do you hope to learn from the experience?
Growing up, my parents would host meditation retreats at our house, inviting whomever was interested to participate in a day filled with true human connection and mindfulness. My mom would take my sister and I to my grandmother's house on that day and we could spend time watching TV, eating sugary snacks we didn't have at home, and talking to my grandparents. On one of these days my mom brought me back home a little earlier to help set up lunch for everyone and while walking in my house I was met with over 30 people sitting in the living room and family room, an inexplicably strong energy radiating off of each silent individual. This was my first introduction to meditation, and the first notion that ever came across my youngling mind that people purposefully meditated for prolonged periods of time, together, and sought comfort and purpose from this activity.
That very day I learned about ServiceSpace, my father explained to me the nature of the organization and it's purpose to inspire all those in the world who wish to spread kindness, understanding, positive change, and foster meaning in each human being. Although short, my 16 years on this Earth have provided me with enough insight for me to decide that as a human I want to spread kindness as far and wide as possible. I've been on the receiving end of acts of kindness countless times in my life, and I can say that it feels amazing. Being recognized, loved, appreciated, seen for who you are and what you've accomplished even by a total stranger. To feed the belief that everyone on this planet is inherently good and working towards making communities around us better place to live and grow, it is mind-blowingly awesome. I want to reciprocate what I've been given, I started small, smiling at strangers on walks, wishing them a great day, seeing their smile... Interning for ServiceSpace would really allow me to expand upon this and open up my mind to new ways of expressing my love for the people around me and the world.
I would love to foster a stronger sense of self, a stronger sense of purpose through interning at ServiceSpace. I know from past experiences of acts of service that I walk away feeling whole and happy, I want to become the best version of myself and share it with the world. I believe that ServiceSpace is a leap forward in my continuing journey, I want to share the virtues I learn, and the experiences others share with me, with the people in my community and school. People at my high school are so academic-centered (and when not academic it is social-centered) that they forgo or don't discover service for themselves. They don't know yet what it is to birth kindness from deep inside, if I can effectuate this change, and show kindness for what it is, I believe that I can help make my community a safer, more comfortable, accepting place as well.
What does service mean to you?
[...] To me, service is not charity, it's not donating material goods or money or attention. Service is giving yourself and 110% of yourself. A lot of the times when I do something that falls under the broad category of "service" I don't even realize I'm doing it because it comes natural to me. It seems only right to give what I can to a person, a purpose, a cause, because I've been gifted the greatest gift; life, and my way of fulfillment is through working to share happiness the way I've experienced it growing up. The amazing thing about giving is that there are no requirements. I can give compassion, I can give presence, I can give a listening ear, I can give an open mind and advice. I can give my ability to write, to read out loud, to share my perspective, to fold cards, to wash dishes, to box goods, to shake hands, to hug. These are the things I can do, others can and do give other aspects and that's what is so amazing about those who can spread kindness and light on a daily basis. They give what they can and through that they convey their authentic love and appreciation for the world.
Anha, we can't wait to roll up our sleeves in service with you and the others this summer! :)