Character Creates Opportunity® – A Commitment to Serve: Thursday, November 12, 2015

There seems to be a growing level of support and gratefulness around the world for those men and women who have and are continuing to serve their country in the armed forces.  It is a fitting tribute for the service of so many.  As a veteran myself, I can say it is really great to see the intentional effort of so many to acknowledge the sacrifice.

Today’s message is not about the traditional view of service in the form of armed forces in defense of a nation.  The message is about the often underappreciated role that most of us play…The role of serving others based on a firm foundation of commitment.  Mostly out of the spotlight, behind the scenes, and without the public acknowledgement of “thank you.”

As we continue to build and strengthen our character, there is the important need to acknowledge the service to others we make each and every day that has lasting impact.

Although many times underappreciated, there is something extremely honorable about the commitment of those who serve tirelessly to get the job done in our homes, our workplace, and our communities.

A tremendous example is quietly set by those getting up on a cold, dark morning and getting the job done on a consistent basis that is worthy of appreciation, but so often goes without it.  It does not matter what role we play; whether we get up and load boxes into a truck, pack a lunch for children, wash a seemingly endless load of laundry, sit and hold grandchildren, or plan the strategy of an organization.  The day in day out choice we make to get up and get going despite being underappreciated for not just days, but perhaps years, is a worthy example of service and commitment.

Truth be told, our most underappreciated examples of honorable service most often occur with those closest to us in our homes and extended family.

We may not realize it, but those around us, whether they are our children, our coworkers, or our neighbors are all impacted by our example to get up and get going.  The spotlight is most often on those in public service or in high-level positions in organizations.  However, the day to day example of those in quiet service to a cause beyond themselves and honorably fulfilling their commitments are deserving of high praise for their impact is positive and lasting on those around them.

All of us, at certain points in our journey and across the various roles we play, will feel underappreciated for our efforts.  Whether it is an insensitive spouse, a teenager going through that “know it all” phase, a preoccupied boss, or selfish coworkers, we all will go through times of service where we just feel underappreciated.

In most cases, especially in the home, the tide does eventually turn.  The insensitive spouse or the “know it all” young adult eventually has that “light-bulb” moment when they realize the quiet service that has been delivered faithfully over the years.  However, if they do not, it is important that we do not lose our drive to deliver on our commitments to do our job and fulfill our obligations.  Continuing to move forward in quiet service is the most effective choice we can make.

If you have felt underappreciated for a while, take this writing as a little “pat on the back” of encouragement for a job and an example set that is well done.  In addition, we all should do some self-reflection and see if we are that insensitive spouse, “know it all” young adult, preoccupied boss, or selfish co-worker and start today to put forth some encouragement and recognition to those who are in honorable, quiet service around us.

Here are just a few key points on maintaining a commitment to serve others: (1) Continue to move forward in quiet service no matter how seemingly underappreciated or unrecognized our efforts become.  Our day in and day out example to maintain our commitments will have a positive impact on those around us, even if we do not see it today.  (2) It is well worth the effort to avoid allowing the negative energy of bitterness to set in when our service goes unnoticed or the praise and recognition for the task goes to someone else.  Continue to transfer energy into serving and minimize the negative energy that can creep in when recognition or appreciation is non-existent.

When we maintain our commitment to serve those around us, we will continue to build and strengthen our character and Character Creates Opportunity® to have a positive impact in our world and especially those closest to us in our homes.