I had the good fortune of calling southern Utah my home when I was growing up. We still frequent the area often visiting family, enjoying nature, and participating in the abundant activities there. One of our favorite places is called The Wave. The intricate formations etched in stone are remarkable to witness, memorable, and often breathtaking. These miracles of nature are world renown. But today, I am going to talk about a different kind of wave.
It’s happening all over the world and the impact is enormous. In countries from the eastern hemisphere to the west and from the north to the southern most parts of the earth, young people are influencing every nation of the world. While the surge often begins with the youth as the instigators, they are not the only ones reaching out to make a difference. The elderly are catching on as well, and the movement is a groundswell of donations, support, and love shown through acts of selfless service.
They plant trees, build homes, teach lessons, and fulfill dreams. The execution of public health campaigns, painting of play grounds, nurturing women, replacing dirty walls with beautiful murals, cleaning up trash, teaching English, and improving the community are just a few of the ways they are making a difference in the world. This is just a beginning—beginning of a list and beginning of a life of service.
This surge of humanitarian service and brotherly kindness is felt and experienced in families as well. Many travel to remote locations in many areas of the world to spend time and effort and money helping the people who can’t get along on their own. Or at least their lives are not as full as they otherwise could be. Families travel to these locations and build schools, offer much needed medical services, and provide service and helping hands.
Thousands of opportunities are available. Many are seeking out a cause instead of waiting for a cause to seek out them. And as a result, lives are being changed, futures are bright, and despair is being replaced with hope. All the while participants, volunteers, and recipients see their lives change.
What are the volunteers saying? The general consensus is that volunteers are eager to spread the blessings to many others throughout the communities and the world. Many express their sentiments saying that they are receiving even more than they are giving. “I came to India expecting to help make a better world for the people here, and they ended up making me.” You needn’t take my word for it. With today’s technology you can hear the volunteers’ perspective from the volunteers themselves. Here is just a sampling. Donors are an important part of the success of the system as well. Their contributions help people realize the benefits of sustainable development projects in many countries, helping improve millions of lives.
The response from recipients occurs in our wards and neighborhoods and all across the world:
“In the end though maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you forever and sincerely as long as we have voices.”
That’s the wave of service we are witnessing all around the world. If you’re lucky, it will catch you unaware. And we’re all the better for it.
This wave is also remarkable to witness, at our fingertips, memorable, and often breathtaking. “It changed me forever.”
In 1989, Walter Penning formed a consultancy based in Salt Lake City and empowered his clients by streamlining processes and building a loyal, lifetime customer base with great customer service. His true passion is found in his family. He says the best decision he ever made was to marry his sweetheart and have children. The wonderful family she has given him and her constant love, support, and patience amid life's challenges is his panacea.