Who You Serve [Citizenship Day 5]

April 18, 2014 by John Andrew Williams

Today’s Thought: Who You Are In Service is a Powerful You

The Academic Life Coaching Program and the Training and Certification Program spends a lot of time looking at identity, habits, and actions.

And the Academic Life Coaching has a quick motivation assessment tool called Core Motivation, but from the point-of-view of yesterday’s blog and the lens of Citizenship, I’ve been obsessed lately with the question of ‘Who am I?’

So often identity is tied up in appearance, facts (for example, I’m 33 years-old born in Pennsylvania but now living in Portland, Oregon), and occupation (I’m an Academic Life Coach).

For high school students, a personality assessment may look more like a resume or sports’ participation than core identity: I’m a football/soccer/lacrosse player.

But let’s look at the question beyond personality and perhaps find the essence of who you are and what you’re about asking questions designed to see who you serve in your life. The premise here is that who we are is a function of who we serve.

When you interact with society what service do you give? What kinds of work do you volunteer?

What service do you do?

Why do you serve others?

How do you serve best?

High school students (and well anyone for that matter) are in a search for understanding their strengths and weaknesses as well as how they fit into society. The big push for volunteering was established to help students develop a positive self-identity as well as feel more connected to their community.

People who feel like they can make a meaningful difference – and follow that belief with action – are among some of the happiest and most content people in the world.

From the perspective of Citizenship, who we are isn’t so much a function of what we look like or the clothes we wear, but rather the groups we belong to and the people that we serve. The clothes and looks are an afterthought.

And although it never hurts to look good, the core of our identity comes from those relationships and the give and take we experience with others.

Who are you (serving this week)?

Also read: Welcome to the Virtuous Cycle [Day 6 of Citizenship]

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