Capacities of importance: Why I serve

By: Brent Lawrence, ArtistCorps member

The question is often posed “Why do you choose to serve?” Naturally, there are many answers to this question that vary depending on the individual who answers it. Maybe this question is too broad to yield a direct answer. Perhaps, for those who serve, a better question is, “Why is service important to you?”

This question requires that one’s service be in something of importance to them. This is, after all, one reason that a person would choose to serve. If a person holds a genuine passion for something, it makes sense that this person would want to share it. However, this does not denote service, necessarily. One could share their gift in a capacity in which it has no effect. So, service must be in something that is of importance to the server, but it must also be important to the one who is being served. 

Being a musician, I love participating in almost anything related to my field, and there are endless outlets for my various musical pursuits. However, there are few better avenues for using my musical gifts than serving others. ArtistCorps and AmeriCorps give musicians like me opportunities to use our gifts in capacities of importance. We are gifted with witnessing children open up, and even become elated about music. Will all of these children become musicians? Of course not. Will all these children, because of this experience, fervently pursue music as an avocation? Of course not. Will our contributions to these children brighten their day and allow them the opportunity to have fun and experiment with something new? Yes; at least, that is my sincere hope. If I simply have a part in brightening someone’s day, I have succeeded in an important act of service.

February 18, 2016