How Selfless Service Saved Me From Drowning Into Self-Pity

During my formative years, I was told that donating a part of our savings to someone in need is considered a good deed. Every year, my mother would contribute a percentage of her salary to support a cause close to her heart. She didn’t view charity as a moral obligation. It was more like an evince of gratitude towards the universe for having received the essentials of life in abundance.

Service, they say, is an expression of love. The desire to share is basic human nature. On new year’s and festivals, I would distribute clothes, toys, books, color pencils, and sweetmeats to children at an orphanage. But gifting for me was just another friendly gesture.

Stumbling into the toughest phase

I grew up in an enriching home environment that nurtured my developmental needs at every phase. I didn’t understand the importance of contributing to society until I stumbled upon the toughest phase of my life. In my early twenties, bumps and scores thrived in my skin folds feasting merrily on the apocrine gland bearing areas, resulting in chronic occlusion.

I was diagnosed with a skin condition known as hidradenitis suppurativa (HS). This inflammatory disease that ruptures follicular walls looks very much like a worsening acne. It had bemused the best of physicians I had visited over the years. Even dermatologists took a while to decipher this condition as there is no biological or pathological test to facilitate diagnosis. With no easy answers as to why destiny had taken such a nasty turn, I tussled with stabbing pain all along.

Building a strong community

Art is a great way to express one’s feelings and emotions. During my spring break, I became part of a community service project that involved nature art painting. We drew flowers, trees, leaves on drab peripheral walls and painted them in vibrant hues. Playing around with colour schemes had helped foster creative growth. But it gave me greater satisfaction to see smiling faces and receive thank you cards from children in the neighborhood.

Thus, with every passing year, I began dedicating some time, skill, and resources to make an impact in the lives of those around me.

Nurturing the seed of kindness

Dealing with the unpredictability of pain and the aggravation of a recurring ailment was an uphill task. Frustration can be a complex emotion to handle. With no cure insight, a deep sense of anger and loss had established a firm bearing in the hollow walls of my chest.

Moreover, limited mobility had brought in further restrictions and I was forced to choose projects that required home-based volunteering services. But somewhere along, once I began nurturing this seed of kindness and generosity within me, the cloud of negative energies that had blocked my vision from looking ahead had begun to fade. Volunteering wasn’t just about promoting positivity and maintaining sustainability. The act of giving had kindled a great sense of joy and contentment. It helped break the cycle of negative thoughts and low moods. Once my focus shifted to contributing for a higher cause, I no longer had time to think about botherations that had consumed my mind and body.

Interconnected, therefore interdependence is not merely a theory. By understanding this fundamental principal, it enables us to consciously reorient our lives to make it effective and meaningful.

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