Acts of Service vs. Lifestyle of Service

Nov 04

The eye roll.

Anyone with kids older than preschool has seen it.

In my house, with two girls (third and sixth grade), we have the eye roll down to an art.

Me: Could you please pick up your clothes off the floor next to the laundry basket and put them in the laundry basket?

Them: Eye roll.

Me: While I get dinner ready, could you please fill the glasses with water?

Them: Eye roll.

Me: Now that your project is done, could you throw away all of the scraps of paper on the floor?

Them: Eye roll and loud sigh.

I worry sometimes that this particular type of eye roll (the one that shows annoyance with being asked to do anything) is a precursor to bratty entitlement – that they are too important to clean up after themselves, or to help out when needed.

Keep in mind that these are the same kids that love service projects. Contribute to a food drive? Check. Volunteer at the animal shelter? They’re there. But for some reason, connecting the dots between acts of service and a lifestyle of service just isn’t happening.

During this month, as we talk about service as lending a hand to help someone else, consider my dilemma: how do we change from acts of service for others to exhibiting a lifestyle of lending a helping hand?

In you home or classroom, what words or phrases do you use to highlight this? What suggestions do you have for the rest of us? Reach out to us on Twitter (@cevalues) or this month and let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

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