Service Experience and Emotion
When I was in High School I always tried to be positive when going on trips with Key Club, a community service club. One organization we connected with was Surrey Services, which is an organization that helped the elderly. For example my favorite trip was when we went to a Surrey Service location and cooked breakfast for about fifty people. I got up bright an early that Saturday morning to cook with my fellow classmates and teacher. It was such a good feeling while serving the food to put a smile on someone’s face. I saw one man putting his pancakes into a plastic bag and poring syrup in the bag. I felt a moment of sadness and I wanted to go help him but just left him alone thinking maybe he wanted his independence. One moment that made me step back for a second was when a woman dropped her napkin. I went to go pick it up for her and she said, “Well aren’t you going to get me a new one?” I was hurt and confused as to why she would say something like that when I barely knew her and had just cooked her breakfast. I had no comment and did as I was told. Participating in service can be very rewarding and many emotions can come from the experience. The readings for class share some similar emotions whether negative or positive.
In the poem “I wandered Lonely as a Cloud” by William Wordsworth the speaker expresses how he/she is lonely and finds warmth from daffodils. The cloud represents how the speaker is lonely and far apart from the world just like a cloud. When the speaker would think of the daffodils moving he/she would be warmed by the memory. This shows that the speaker is lonely in life and thinks of the daffodils almost as his/her friends. Although the speaker is lonely he/she can still be happy when in times of loneliness by thinking of the daffodils by the bay. The emotion of feeling alone can relate to service as well. Some of the elderly people join together at Surrey Services to have the company of one another. The story “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman also connects with one’s emotions in a more sorrowful way.
The story, “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is about a woman who is in a deep depression and unravels her mental destruction while her husband tries to nurse her back to health. The woman is staying at a summerhouse with her husband, who is a doctor. He explains to her that she is sick and from the passage you can see she should not be writing because she hides her writings from the individuals in the house. The woman talks about how she is always nervous and knows she is not doing well. She begins to see a woman around the house and eventually on the wallpaper. She thinks the woman is trapped in the wallpaper and actually thinks she needs to be tied up because she keeps moving around the house. In the end this “woman” symbolizes a mirror image of herself. She felt trapped and at the end of the story she says, “I’ve got out at last”. She explains to her husband how she has pulled off the wallpaper and they cannot put her back. The woman is free of her emotions and nervousness. Service can connect to this woman’s hardships because many people who are involved in service help the mentally ill. Next, the story, “The Birthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne expresses one’s emotions connected to the idea of perfection.
The story, “The Birthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne is about a married couple that struggles to fix their relationship because of a birthmark on the wife’s cheek. The wife in the story has a birthmark on her cheek and the husband cannot stand the looks of it and thinks it depicts a little hand. He wants to remove it so she can be beautiful. He tries different experiments and in the end is able to eliminate the birthmark. Although this is true his search for beauty kills his wife because matter and spirit cannot co-exist. Connecting this story to service would be that in the story the husband wants his wife to be perfect and when being involved in service I always want things to go as planned. This cannot always be the case and I just need to stay positive and work with what I can and realize everyone is different.
Overall, all three pieces have interesting plots that all involve emotions just like involving yourself in service. Whether this be feeling lonely, the feeling of nervousness, or trying to find perfection all are possible. You can always look on the bright side and find good in any hardship or service.