Last Monday, our nation honored Veterans Day. The Beaverton School District turned the holiday weekend into a four day weekend and thus it was important to me that Regan (age 8) and Claire (age 9) understood that the long weekend meant more than just a four day weekend. In honor of veterans, the girls and I decided that we would spend Monday serving others.
For months, we have been talking about going to play board games with the residents at Avamere. Avamere is the Senior Living location that lets us use their community room weekly for Destination Imagination, my youth leadership program. On Veterans day, the girls and I finally made it over there to play games and also surprise the residents with cake. Their favorite card game is skip-bo, and they were excited to teach the residents how to play.
Teaching 80-90 year olds how to play a complex card game like Skip-Bo is no simple task. You don’t realize how complicated the game is until you have 4 Senior residents looking at you with a confused expression. Their candor was hilarious, especially as they accused each other of hiding cards or cheating. One man was so confused as to why we were playing in a counter clockwise order as opposed to clockwise. However, the girls were so patient and politely helped the residents play there turns.
As I watched these young girls serving others, it made me feel so proud of them. They were not afraid, and jumped right in to help even though they had just met many of the residents. They used their outside voices to speak up so that the residents that were hard of hearing could understand them and occasions had to repeat things several times. After spending about 2 hours there we left and as we walked out the doors both girls expressed how much fun they had and asked if we could come back some time.
It is moments like these that I am reminded about the importance of Servant Leadership. In the busyness of our everyday lives, I know that I often overlook the importance of this act. I encourage you this week to look for opportunities in your life to serve others. One thing I know about leadership is that great leaders serve others before they expect anything in return.