This past summer I have been able to partake in a number of rare experiences that were very special. I was able to participate in a few college level courses, travel around the world, spend lots of time with friends and family, among a slew of others. These wonderful opportunities and adventures in turn made me a more genial and jovial person, always eager to discover what the next activity would have in store.
This summer I also was able to serve with two charitable organizations, both with somewhat mutual goals. God’s Love We Deliver aims to assist those who are homebound or have trouble purchasing and collecting food by delivering meals several times a week, free of charge. My role was that of deliverer, as I went from apartment complex to apartment complex in uptown manhattan dropping off meal packages with clients of GLWD. The buildings were often tenebrous and dreary, with dark hallways and melancholy wall paper. However, the residents were anything but dreary, with glowing smiles and warm personalities. The appreciativeness and happiness illuminated by something as simple as a quick visit and a few bites to eat really struck me. I had never met any of these people and yet they acted as if we had been friends for years.
The other organization I worked with was that of the Friends Shelter, an organization that provides those who are homeless with a meal and a bed for the night, located in the common room. In working with them I collected materials and then cooked a meal, usually some sort of pasta or meat accompanied by a vegetable and desert. I would then travel to school and drop the meal off at the common room. The supervisors for the night were always amicable, friendly, and very grateful for the meal. “They’re really gonna love this”, I remember the supervisor saying one July night. “This desert especially is going to make them so happy”. Once again, I was taken aback by the shear joy caused by something as simple as a few brownies and a bowl of pasta. A quality of life that I would deem as ordinary or common to really put a smile on people’s faces was something novel to me. Something so simple and fundamental to life itself is capable of giving great happiness and joy.
I have learned from my experiences that one does not need to travel around the world, drive nice cars, or any other luxuries of life to be happy. Rather, the simple things in life really are what makes life special.