The world commemorates Mandela Day on July 18th with 67 minutes of service. Global Peace Foundation’s African Peace Service Corps partnered with the South African High Commissioner and the United Nations Environmental Program to launch a massive tree planting initiative with 67 trees, one for each year of Mandela’s years in prison.
Service is becoming the way to commemorate the lives and values of notable heroes of our time. But why service?
In his speech at the 2011 international IAVE conference, Dr. Moon said, “I believe that service will play a pivotal role in changing the global ethic.” Perhaps this is why service. The world is realizing what notable change makers have already – the timeless principle of living for others is the remedy for the conflicts and ailments of society.
In the United States, Richard Stengel wrote an article in Time Magazine entitled, “Service is the Silver Bullet” where he makes the case for national service as the perfect solution to healing a divided nation and addressing daunting national issues like education, unemployment, childhood hunger and conservation.
E.J. Dionne Jr. points out in his op-ed that that the well-known line of the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” is only made possible by the final line, “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our Sacred Honor.” Service, he argues, is part of the United States’ DNA, and essential to the preservation of the nation.
The same holds true to the global community. At the recent National Conference on Volunteerism and Service, GPYC-USA President, Kenshu Aoki said, “Service is about going out of your comfort zone. As you work together for a common cause to improve the lives of others, you come to realize that human beings are truly meant to help one another.
“I believe that service will play a pivotal role in changing the global ethic.” Dr. Hyun Jin Moon, IAVE Conference 2011
Service is more than just serving:
- First, service is a deeply personal and spiritual act that connects individuals to the highest and noblest qualities of humanity. It is a transformation tool for leadership and character development.
- Second, service unleashes human creativity as people own the problems facing their communities and collaborate to find solutions. It places change in the hands of every man and women who possesses the desire to serve the greater humanity.
- And third, service is a universal value that can bring understanding and peace among dissonant religious, racial, national and even political factions.
To this end, the Global Peace Foundation has wielded service as a major tool in the pursuit of the vision of One Family under God. It has promoted social entrepreneurship and community driven development initiatives that are owned by local partners and has fostered a culture of service, particularly with youth, to develop creativity and character in the leaders of tomorrow.
Everyday can be a transformational moment in history if every day is lived in service to humanity.