We all can understand the nobility of those who volunteer and participate in community service. My father-in-law, Bob Twenhafel, took my understanding to a completely new level. Ultimately, he was presented with a Georgia Frontiere Community Service Award, which, by itself, is pretty damn cool.
The award was an outstanding recognition and because Bob as so non-chalant, it wasn't until we looked it up online that we realized that "hey! this is kind of a big deal!" I can't paint a good enough picture to show how humble he was about this - he acted as if he was embarrassed by the award and the attention. Whether you know Bob or not, you know someone like this - we had to really press him to get the most basic information about what happened. Sometimes it is annoying, but this time it was pretty profound.
We knew that he delivered meals for Meals on Wheels once a week to seniors around our home town of Mascoutah, IL, and the award was related to that. But he didn't explain the what, why, and how of everything surrounding the award very well. As we were left scratching our heads trying to figure out the missing pieces, he added a personal note very casually. He said, "you know, I think I know what is was. One day, I had less stops to make, so instead of the five or so minutes I usually take just to sit and talk with the folks I deliver meals to, I took more like 15 at each stop. It was a lot of fun talking a little extra and the people all seemed to really appreciate it. When I got back to the Senior Center, I told the organizer 'I really had a lot of fun today.' - I bet that's what did it."
Well, yes, that is what did it, Bob. However, it isn't the (absolutely sincere) single comment that Bob made like he thinks it was. It wasn't even the fact that he takes time to be more than just a guy who drops off meals. It is the fact that all of these things happened due to the fact that Bob is an immensely selfless man. It is because Bob delivers meals to people not because it is the "charitable thing to do," but because it is the thing to do. The selflessness and the charity is woven into who Bob is as a person... so much so that he is confused and surprised to the point of embarrassment when you give him recognition!
That is the piece that I then draw back to +Project:IDWIL - being so true to yourself in any situation that you couldn't fathom any other way than the way that makes sense to you. It is reminiscent of an earlier post I wrote about Doing the Right Thing, but on a different level. There is no need to convince others of your perspective. There is no competition. It is about you and the decisions you make that come from the very core of what you believe and who you are.
If you enjoy these blog posts, support what +Project:IDWIL is about, or even just know Jake, please use the tools/icons in the top right of the page to Add this to your circles; Subscribe to the RSS feed; Like Project:IDWIL on Facebook; Follow @ProjectIDWIL on Twitter; Follow on Pinterest