Our students may have had the day off, but Veteran’s Day was a service day for the Corps. Some of us served at New Horizons food pantry, but my team spent the morning raking the lawns of elderly Manchester residents. We eagerly packed bag after bag with oak leaves, at times even working on our hands and knees. The beneficiaries of our labor were welcoming and kind. They may have noticed we were happy to help.
Raking is not a glorious chore, but it can still be done powerfully. We had the spirit of young people eager to serve, discipline arisen from high expectations and commitment to our culture, purpose from a worthy cause, and pride in our results. These qualities are what motivated us to re-rake the scattered stray leaves even as more fell and to work energetically to finish the last yard as we ran out of time.
Working powerfully sets this organization apart, even when it comes to raking. Keeping in mind the qualities of spirit, discipline, purpose in pride helps me affect greater change. With those four qualities, the actions I take next year to help form a sustainable local food system will be more powerful. My many teammates can apply the concept to the careers they pursue. Clean lawns are just one ripple of this idea. Stay tuned.