Personally, for instance, my thoughts have led me to consciously resist the urge to get a fuzzy feeling when I collect clothes. There is something to be said, of course, about how servicing others fulfills us, but for cynics who see service work as nothing more than temporary guilt assuagement (younger me), it is important to note that many of us are genuinely interested in the deeper questions. Many of us know that service is intended not to make us feel fuzzy but to make us muse on the nature of citizenship and, primarily, to actually fix society. I remind myself of this through incorporation of service and concern into my daily consciousness, and I hope others will follow my lead.
With these philosophical complexities drawn out, I encourage the readers to find ways that they can contribute to their communities, not just to feel nice but to invite themselves to the type of sophisticated questioning which we are all capable of that is crucial to democracy and thus to happiness — others’ as much as our own.
Joe D’Amore Jr. lives in Groveland.