Thursday, February 8, 2024

Love People in Different Ways

 One thing that's really struck me in the transition from homeschool family life to going away to college was the difference between the way love worked at home versus the way it does here. 

At home we showed that we loved each other by doing the dishes, giving drink to the thirsty, food to the hungry and so on. It was all giving the gift of service to show our appreciation for each other. 

I found out that at college it doesn't work that way. 

Everyone has access to food in the commons, they know how to dress themselves and get water when they're thirsty. Attempting to satisfy these types of needs in a college setting is more demeaning than loving. Of course, you can do little things when the opportunity arises, but it is not nearly as fulfilling as giving a thirsty child water. 

There is a way though -- and it is a similar kind of service. I've realized that things like helping someone with their homework is a profound way of loving them, it's something they may have not been able to get themselves. Nevertheless, we all have our strengths and weaknesses and sharing our strengths is one of the greatest assets we have. 

Buying food and leaving it out for people is something similar to this. College students are always hungry and typically don't have abundant means of getting more food when hunger strikes. Unlike giving food at home, things like this are completely anonymous, and I think more meritorious. 

Frankly, it's much harder to love at school though. Of course, there's always prayer but being there for people requires actual effort -- there isn't just a list of needs clearly visible every time you walk in the door.

If you're feeling unfulfilled during a time of transition, I'd suggest looking at the way you're loving the people around you -- it changes a lot depending on your circumstances! Finding the way to helping other people improves life so much. I wish I did it better honestly, and I hope in many ways to inspire myself by this article. But if I can inspire one other person too, then my work is done. 


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