Service Is Effective Medicine

by Kaity

Common complaints of the youth today may be about the pressures of school, friends, lack of sleep, car problems, or parental restrictions.

To the youth that feel this way, I suggest an effective medicine to cure your problems. Lay your books aside for a few hours, leave your phone, and go visit someone who is lonely, someone who is sick, or someone who is discouraged. Oftentimes, if you have complaints about your life, it is because you are thinking too much of what concerns you and not of what may concern others. Providing service to those around you will be the cure to your problems.

President Hinckley said, “For many years there was a sign on the wall of a shoe repair shop I patronized. It read, ‘I complained because I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no feet.’ The most effective medicine for the sickness of self-pity is to lose ourselves in the service of others.”

One night, my twin and I were shopping at Target. We were buying one of our friends a birthday present for the next day. We were really excited as we went to checkout because we had found the perfect gift for our friend. As my sister proceeded to pay, she opened her wallet up to find that she was four dollars short of the gift’s price.

We had two options. Number one: go back home to get my wallet with more money. Number two: not buy anything and see our friend the next morning without a gift. We didn’t like either option because they both meant that we left the store without the gift. So for the next five minutes we stood in line trying to round up the last four dollars we needed. We asked the cashier to try my sister’s old gifts cards and to help us count all of her coins. I was amazed at the patience the cashier had with us as we searched. After we tried all of our options, we still found ourselves about four dollars short of the total we needed. My sister and I were pretty frustrated at this point and decided that we would just put the gift back and go home. As my sister began to put her money away, the cashier asked to see all the money that we had. We were both confused as we watched the man take our money, reach in his pocket, and pull out the four dollars we needed from his own wallet. He proceeded to put all of the money in the cash register and give us the gift that we had just bought. My sister and I probably looked like a deer caught in headlights because we were both so shocked. This man didn’t know us. We didn’t know him. And he had just selflessly showed us so much kindness. All he asked was that we pay it forward and serve someone else in return. I was full of gratitude for this man and the great example of service he showed us that night.

Usually the most meaningful service is expressed through simple, everyday acts of kindness such as this.
The For the Strength of Youth says “As you devote yourself to serving others, you will draw closer to Heavenly Father. Your heart will be filled with love. You will learn that service and sacrifice are ways to overcome selfishness. You will enjoy happiness that comes only from giving service to God and others. Your capacities will increase, and you will be an instrument in God’s hands to bless the lives of His children.” I know this to be true along with the accompaniment of many other blessings.

 The world is full of kind and wonderful people. If you can’t find one, be one. Your opportunities to do so are limitless. Each day, look for ways to gladden hearts, to brighten days, to share the gospel, to say kind words, to perform labors for others that cannot do so themselves. Listen to the quiet promptings you will receive from the Spirit guiding you to serve. You will find that the true key to happiness and the cure to your daily complaints is to follow the Savior’s example, and to labor for the happiness of others.

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