Sunday Night: The importance of people

By MaryHelen Swanson, editor

Each year, as I write about the community service award recipients, the goodness of mankind is reaffirmed.

It is in learning how others care for their fellow citizens that I find energy to continue my own service to my neighbors, with the realization it is the right thing to do.

Is that not really what we are here on earth for – to serve others?

We might all like to agree with that, but we know it is not always the case.

The thing is that people who put others’ needs before their own find that their own lives are truly enriched.

As Syl Marking, this year’s NB Lions Community Service Award recipient, said to me last week, you get back what you give out.

I have seen that in every recipient of a community service award – in both Rush City and North Branch – over the past 12 years.

It’s the person who will drop what he or she is doing and go to the aid of someone in trouble without question.

It’s the person who will give up dinner with family on a holiday, to make sure that the lonely don’t go without a special meal.

It’s the person who will volunteer to lead committees, work at events, share their blessings and talents, and give almost beyond what they can afford to give to serve someone else, that is the true hero in our communities.

It is the person that will say yes to the call, whether it be to the military or a foster grandparent spot in a kindergarten classroom, who understands that our joy comes in the serving.

Sometimes these people receive awards, but many times they do not.

What they all have in common is that they are people who understand that it is only when you reach out to others that others feel compelled to return the gesture. If you make no attempt, your arms could remain forever empty.

What a lonely place our communities would be without that show of kindness.

As we honor yet another unselfish servant in our community, I say thank you to all who open their arms and share the love.

You are all winners because you truly understand the importance of people.

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