Due to the happenings of Hurricane Sandy, my service learning for the week was cancelled, so I have nothing new to reflect on, but I can speak about a commonality between the service I do, A Father, by Bharati Mukherjee, Serving Up Hope, by Stephanie Shapiro, Directions for Registering the SAT, by Richard Hague, and First Practice, by Gary Gildner. The common theme that I found these all possessed was the doings of things for the greater good of oneself or for everyone.
It is pretty self explanatory to me that the reason why I do service learning is not only because it is required for my class, but it is also for me to do something I love, which is helping people out, no matter what age. The boys who are a part of the Acts4Youth program at Guilford Elementary School are perfectly capable of being successful in the near future and that is the sole focus that this program works on. Just because these boys are either underprivileged or are going through difficult times, the program teaches them that they can be well – rounded adult man in the future society. The boys that I work with are in fifth and sixth grade and they are already learning/know of the characteristics that make up a successful human being in this world. I think it is great that this program starts teaching them these qualities at a young age, so they are constantly in this mindset of working towards being a thriving individual. My service and this program consist of creating better lives for these young boys for the good of themselves.
A Father, by Bharati Mukherjee, is about a serious man who sincerely battles with loving his daughter. He is very unhappy that this child was born a girl and she is not what he wanted. Growing up with a father who nearly despises your existence is something that can be very harmful to one’s childhood and future. Although the theme of doing things to better the life of someone else is not present in this poem, it is a theme that it is striving for. It is what the relationship between the characters are missing and needs, so the father can be appreciative and thankful for the life of his daughter. By being appreciative, it will strengthen their relationship and will create an essence of the greater good on the life of his daughter.
Serving Up Hope, by Stephanie Shapiro, is about a couple in Baltimore who devotes nearly all of their time to create opportunities for people who would never have the chance to make their own living. The Sampson's opened a deli and hired Jennifer Brock and Tyrone Lewis, who were once drug addicts, which soon led to the turning around of their lives. They are now developing certain skills to help them obtain employment in the near future. It is very easy to see the theme of doing things for the greater good in this poem. People like the Sampson's are those who care for others, rather than just themselves. By doing certain things for others, even if it is just the smallest thing, can drastically improve and change their lives for the good.
Directions for Registering the SAT, by Richard Hague, dares us to do challenging things in our lives, which will be ultimately rewarding, because it is not something we normally consider ourselves to do. This poem says brings about the theme as well, because it is encouraging us to do things for the goodness of our lives, not saying to put them in harms way. Granted, all challenges are risks, but if you are willing to take that chance, something amazing can come out of it.
First Practice, by Gary Gildner, is about a coach who wants nothing but pure perfection from his players. He is always striving to do better, which can come across being somewhat intimidating. He may not do this intentionally, because he is looking out for the good of the players, by pushing them to their utmost potential, but he may get a little to wrapped up in that mindset.
All of these works, including my service learning, has to do with the common theme of helping others for their greater good. Not only is this theme expressed in these poems and service, but I also feel that it is an important theme that we should all try to follow in our own lives.