Only a few teachers were able to keep their full time jobs. Unfortunately, I wasn't one of them. So, the principal told me that she would reduced the number of classes that I needed to teach. In a way, I was relieved because I absolutely HATED full-time work. I loved the teaching part, but the full-time thing was killing me -- and I was only working there for just two months!
Part of me wanted to sing praises. I ain't got to teach those kids everyday? Nice!
But...I realized that the elementary kids would only have physical education once a week, and they were having it every school day! The kindergarten kids wouldn't have any physical education. Physical education, or P.E., was the most popular class in that school and all the kids looked forward to it. So, I could just think about myself or think about the kids.
I told the principal to keep the schedule the same. While I didn't like the idea of coming to school early everyday and not getting paid for most of it, I did it for the sake of the kids.
When the end of the school year came, the kids expressed during the end-of-the-year ceremony how much they loved P.E.
Now that I think about this, I realize that sometimes you can't live life thinking about yourself. Sometimes, you have to think about those who need you -- and when you think about others, you yourself will become a much more outstanding person.
It's easy to serve ourselves. It's easy to make us happy. But nobody recognizes a person who just pleases him or herself. Nobody benefits if I just do all the things I want to do. If it were up to me, I'd just spend my entire life pursuing my own happiness.
But I don't wish to be a one-man show. I have a wife and two kids to think about. In addition, I have other important people in my life that I need to think about. The decisions I make cannot just benefit me, but it should benefit those I care about.
If someone were to offer me a nice-paying job, but I would have to sacrifice my ZUMBA fitness classes at the church, you'd better believe that I won't take it. Or if I was offered a nice position in another state, meaning that I have to leave my church family behind, I won't take it. Even while I was working part-time at the old school, should somebody had offered me a job that would require that I leave the school, I wouldn't do it.
If I live life where I just think about ME, I could accomplish so many, many, many things in life. I could do whatever that pleases me. But since I care about those I serve, many of those pursuits I won't take because it would have a negative impact on those I care about.
In our American society, we preach about living life to the fullest -- which means doing all the things that make you happy. For me, living life to the fullest is offering myself as a sacrifice to the benefit of my community. I came into this world with nothing and I will leave this world with nothing. However, when I leave this world, I could leave a legacy that would be past down to generations. How much I pleased myself isn't a legacy. How much I blessed those around me is a legacy.
You have so many gifts that could serve other people. Don't think about how these gifts would serve just you: think about how they could serve those around you.
Remember that there are people out there who could use what you have to offer. There are people who need you around. There are people who would be lost if you weren't in their lives. While I don't ask that you neglect your own happiness to make someone else happy, I am asking that you think on a higher level. What I could do for myself is low-level thinking. What I could do for others requires you to be much bigger than what you are now, because service to others requires people with special hearts.
I want you to have that special heart.
Believe it or not, I don't always enjoy writing these articles. Sometimes, they are just time-consuming and they tire out my brain! Sometimes, I would write almost an entire article and completely erase it to start over -- and that could happen as much as three times for one article!
What makes writing these articles worth it? When someone approaches me after ZUMBA class and said, "I really needed to read that e-mail you sent" or "The only reason I came to class tonight was because of your e-mail." Hearing that makes me feel that I am serving someone else, so I would continue to write these articles -- whether or not you read them, and whether or not I want to write them.
Service to others isn't drudgery for me, of course. Yes, sometimes it gets tiring. Yes, sometimes it gets discouraging. Yes, sometimes I just don't feel appreciated. But why do I still love servicing others? Because it makes me feel good. It makes me feel good that someone is being helped because of what I'm doing. Now, service to others makes me happier than trying to serve myself. Even if serving others could sometimes make me angry, the fact that someone else is being blessed because of my efforts is enough to make me feel better about it.
I truly feel honored to serve all of you through these articles and through the fitness classes. I hope that I continue doing this for a long time, and I hope that there have been improvements made in your life because of these efforts.