A large part of the Forte Strong program involves helping others. Volunteering, community involvement, service, providing aid, etc… There are many different terms for serving those in our community. To understand why this is such an important aspect of our lives, or why it should be important, lets look at a local service capacity that you might be familiar with; your local fire station. If you live in a smaller or rural town, chances are your fire response team is comprised of a group of local volunteers. Although they might receive training from the state or federal govt. free of charge, it’s to assist their local community through hours of training and take time away from their own busy schedules. You might not think this is a big deal…until your house catches on fire. Think of how grateful you would be if a group of volunteer firefighters showed up at 3:00am in the morning to save you, your family and your possessions from harm!
The great thing about serving others is that we never now how our support may impact their lives. It might be a small act of kindness on our part, but could mean the world to the person on the receiving end. Take a local soup kitchen for example. They contribute their time to feed and comfort people that would otherwise go hungry.
Mental Health America (formerly the National Mental Health Association) writes an article that supports this concept:
“Research indicates that those who consistently help other people experience less depression, greater calm, fewer pains and better health. They may even live longer.
Consider some recent research:
- Students who performed five acts of kindness a day increased their happiness
- Providing emotional support to others significantly decreased the harmful health effects of certain kinds of stress among older people
- People who donated money to charity got a boost in a feel-good part of the brain, as revealed in brain imaging research
- remind you that you’re relatively lucky
- help you feel needed and effective
- make you feel connected to others
- take your mind off your own worries for a while
- make you feel generous
- add a sense of purpose and meaning to your life”
About the Author
Matthew Arrington grew up in Southern California and has a deep fondness for the ocean and water in general. He’s lived in most of the western united states and attended school in Oregon, where he earned a few degrees in business including, marketing, leadership and organizational management and a Masters in Business. Matt has a huge passion for working with young men to increase their chances of success and credits his current success to the many positive male role models that helped him grow into manhood.