As you read this, someone is sitting at a desk considering the question, “what does it mean to be truly happy and how do we share this feeling?” Scientists are finding that we can gain happiness through meaningful relationships. That makes sense, right? If you have a group of friends you can count on no matter your circumstance, you’re more apt to succeed no matter the goal. Imagine always having a cheering squad in your corner even when you fail. Personally, I would shoot for the stars because I know someone would help me up should I fall!
There is great value in serving others: not only do the people receiving help get what they need, helping to ease their stress and worry, but the people providing the help feel a sense of pride and accomplishment as well. Sometimes I question whether I donate my time and talents to It Takes a Village, Baby because of my desire to impact other peoples’ lives in a positive way, or because of the way it makes me feel. And then I wonder whether I am selfish because, in truth, a great part of why I do this is for the good feelings I get on a personal level. In the end maybe it doesn’t really matter. Serving others is a symbiotic relationship, it benefits all parties involved and helps to create and enlarge the village we’re all a part of.
Growing up, I didn’t have a clear understanding of the world because I didn’t have a supportive community surrounding me. I can’t help but wonder with the support of others in our community, if my life would have been different as I matured; maybe I would have seen how lucky I truly was to have the things I did. Now, as a parent, I plan to surround my daughter with others she can count on. I cannot insulate her from the truth that the world can be a cruel place, but I can show her how she can make it better by helping those in need.
We all have different motivations for wanting to build a village, but I think it’s fair to say that regardless of why you choose to reach out, it benefits everyone. We can live in a society that supports and helps each other through the rough patches - all we need to do is join hands and work together. It truly does take a village and I am happy to be a part of the one we’re expanding right here in Loudoun County.
Won’t you join us?