Back in my days of summer camp at Camp Foster, there was a sign leading to one of the beach areas that read “God. Others. Self.” Those three simple words have resonated with me ever since my note passing days as an awkward 10-year old camper. 12 years later (yes I’m FINALLY 22), the image of that sign popped into my head during one of our orientation meetings. We were asked to think of what rule(s) we live by, and I immediately thought of the words that I looked at almost daily during my favorite week of the year each summer.
“God. Others. Self.”
In the short 13 days that I have been in Jamaica, my community and I have heard two separate people talk to a theme of doing less and being more. This is not typical in an American lifestyle considering most of us love our busy schedules and are always striving to DO more. But on further reflection of this idea, I realize its importance. In doing all that we DO, we run out of time to BE. During this year of service, my community of fellow PVIs and I are not in Jamaica to simply DO as much as we possibly can, but rather to BE with the people we are serving and accompany them along their life journey, wherever that may take them. Yes, we will be DOing things – whether it be working in a clinic, leading a youth group, teaching, etc. – but throughout our DOing, we will be focused on entering into relationships with the people we interact with and learning from them along the way.
Like I said, this will not be an easy task. I’ll be the first to admit that I love having a busy schedule full of doing as much as I can, but I am excited for the challenge to BE a friend, BE a community member, BE a roommate, BE a friendly face, BE someone that people can trust, and BE a PVI. I am also excited to discover the ways in which BEing more will be translated into DOing more.
“God. Others. Self.”
During my year on this breathtakingly beautiful island, I hope to display the saying on this old sign through my actions and by entering into community with others. I hope to embrace all of the times that I may feel uncomfortable or anxious by not always DOing, but BEing as much of myself as I can for others – always putting them before myself.
I would also like to challenge each of you to think of ways in which you can BE more for someone – anyone at all. Even in my first few days at mission sites, I have realized this importance of this and have seen the impact that it has on others.
So go… DO less. BE more.
Katherine is pictured on the far right, along with fellow community members (from L to R)
Casey, Andrea and Kaitlin