"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."

This quotation from Gandhi sums up a lot about my feelings toward service. I've always loved the idea of service, and always wanted to want to do service. But the actual desire wasn't always there. I could always recognize that even if I wasn't enjoying the specific task, it was ultimately contributing the mission of whatever program or organization I was working with. But in all honestly, as much as I had a real yearning to help others, I also liked the do-gooder image. As I grew conscious of that reality, I came to think that what was worse than not doing service was doing service disingenuously. And then there's that phrase"doing service." Ew. Just the way that's worded makes it sounds like an obligatory action, rather than a proactive, creative collaboration. As I've grown and participated in various forms of service, as well as developed through Global Studies and PSP classes, I've gained perspective on the reality of helping others while helping myself. In a sense, I think I connect with this quotation because it appeals to my ego. Literally, it states that a way to better yourself is by bettering the circumstances of others. So if my end-goal is to become a better person, others are the medium through which I must work. Beyond the superficial meaning, though, I think this statement connotes solidarity - the innate interconnectedness of our choices and actions, and in that way, it is deeply inspiring to me.

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, covered in scars, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, 'Yahoo, what a ride!'"

Bear Grylls said this in the introduction to one of his books. He is one of my biggest heroes because his approach to life and adventure is one that continuously inspires me. As a grown man, he's found a way to continue doing the things he loved as a child, and that bring him joy. True, he is able to do this specific works because it brings him money, but he climbed, paraglided, and did other extreme sports before it brought in high TV ratings. According to his sister, "I can’t even imagine him having a job, and yet we always knew he’d be successful." Evidently, the Grylls family does not consider Bear's work to be "real" in the capitalist, traditional sense, despite the fact that his work has millions of "consumers" - his TV viewers and those who purchase his books. Clearly, his sister defines success as corrolated to something other than an ordinary job with a paycheck. Bear often credits his faith and family as sources of support for him.