students are volunteering at local kitchens for the homeless,
agencies for the mentally ill, Big Brother/Big Sisters, McDonald
Houses, etc. What a wonderfully enriching, broadening, and
meaningful experience. Even politicians are talking about
community service again. Humanity can be our community.
There is a lot of help that needs to be done all over the world,
enough to fill the lives of several generations. Yet, there is a simple
place for each one of us to start: namely, moving from good intentions
to good deeds. DO SOMETHING!
Don't cop out by saying "I don't know what to do." With a little
thought we can all find endless things to do. Examples: mow the
neighbor's lawn when they are on vacation or have a death in the
family, help a friend move, offer your friendship to a new person in
school or your community, offer to baby sit for a family who can't
afford a sitter, take an old person to the grocery store each week or to
his/her doctor, give some flowers to someone, etc., etc.
Developing a specific plan of action
Your philosophy of life is merely a statement of valued intentions
or hopes. Now, you need to decide exactly how to achieve some
progress day by day towards your ideal goals. First Things First by
Covey, Merrill, & Merrill (1994) does not help much in deciding what
should by "first" in your life, but it is an excellent book for helping you
put your life mission into action. Also see time management in chapter
13. For each of your major values, make a list of daily or weekly
activities to be done.
For example, one person, who is trying to live up to the helping
philosophy, might have a list of activities (or self-help projects) like
Follow the Golden Rule. I will (a) volunteer to be a candy
striper or to help in a local teen center. (b) Seek out lonely,
unhappy, rejected people near me and be their friend. (c)
Waste little money (say less than 20% of my earnings) on junk
food, special clothes, partying, and luxuries for me; give 50%
of the money I would spend on meat to support vegetarian
Accept myself and others. I will (a) stop and figure out why I
am resentful before yelling and fighting with my brother and
my mother. (b) Carry out at least one self-help project at all
times, using as much scientific information as possible.
Be aware and honest. I will (a) write in my diary every day,
describing as best I can my true motives and deepest feelings.
(b) Encourage my friends, especially by my example, to be
generous, friendly, and respectful to everyone, and to learn and
use as much knowledge as they can. (c) Explain and defend my
values to friends. I will not change my morals just to keep a