It is such a privilege to glean wisdom from youth. As we ready to welcome a crew of teens for this year's summer internship
, we were so inspired by their applications, we couldn't just keep it to ourselves.
Here's an excerpt from Lena that really inspired us:
What draws you to intern with ServiceSpace? What do you hope to learn from the experience?
As students, our brains are stuffed full of knowledge everyday at school. But out of the 7 hours each day, what is the one thing school has never really taught us? Service. It’s possible that there just isn’t enough time in each school day to learn things that aren’t usually assessed with academics. I’m so grateful that I was able to observe this and take control of my education so that I could incorporate not only the basis of academics, but also a practice in mindfulness and kindness with my time. With the opportunities that I’ve been given throughout this new year, the events at ServiceSpace have shown to be the most impactful. I see the ServiceSpace internship as a gateway to the path of transformations not only in myself, but the society I’m just just beginning to interact with.
The path to adulthood and growing up is scary and sometimes confusing. But teenagers like myself have begun to question the ‘pattern’ that has been preached by society early on; go to school, get a job, make a living, be successful. Why do we have to do it this way? Who said this was the only way to truly be ‘successful’? Breaking away from the cyclic pattern of adulthood itself can also be a challenge. [...] Currently in my biology class, I’m learning about the ecology of our planet. The very first thing we learned was how the populations of a species interact to make an ecosystem. But while as humans of the same species, the prospect of ServiceSpace is still the same and the volunteers of this community are driven to reach out to every corner of our kindness-based-economy.
As an intern with ServiceSpace, I want to be able to contribute to this ecosystem that’s driven to create meaningful connections with one another and hopefully encourage others around me to do the same. I hope to learn ways to do so by spreading kindness to someone or something every day. I also hope to learn about more people and the stories that they possess. The gifts through ServiceSpace have rippled out to so many people from different backgrounds and I hope to learn something from their stories that are entailed with all kinds of knowledge. In conclusion, I hope to utilize this ServiceSpace internship as a way to continue growth within myself and serve others around me. [...]
What does Stillness mean to you?
Stillness is when you are holding space and aware of yourself and your surroundings. It usually means you aren’t thinking of something far in the future or way back in the past. I find stillness within me when my thoughts aren’t running anywhere and my mind is calm. Usually, stillness is probably observed in meditation, but I don’t think your body necessarily has to be completely unmoving in order to be still. [...]
What does service mean to you?
Service means that you are giving to others with the pure intent of bringing joy and gratitude. Like many others, I feel most joy when giving to others rather than receiving. Of course it feels good to get a gift, but there seems to be a bigger feeling that almost overwhelms you when you see that your gifts brought joy to someone else. To me, service is a vital part in receiving, whether it be material or something possibly more trivial. For example, a few months ago, a large group of us teens and parents ... met early in the morning to prepare for a day of giving out gifts to anyone and everyone who we saw on the streets of Berkeley. I believe that I can speak on behalf of everyone after that day that we had felt oddly fulfilled though we had been the ones giving out cookies and holiday cards. It’s a wonderful phenomenon that purely seeing the joy that we were able to bring to others brought us so much gratitude. It doesn’t matter how big or how small your acts of service are because you still will have received much more.