Sometimes a theme seems to develop in an edition of the newspaper, even though we rarely intend it.
The theme of this week’s newspaper would be service – the service of a youth group from New Jersey that comes to Maine every summer to help ensure adequate shelter for residents in need, the service behind the mission of The Carpenter’s Boat Shop, the service of a local young woman who will forgo all material things to join a convent, the service of firefighters who set aside their daily responsibilities at a moment’s notice to protect the safety of our communities, the service of local volunteers who want children to know how to grow their own food and live a healthy life.
We find most striking the story of the 23-year-old future sister (not nun, as the reporter informs us).
The generation now in their 20s and 30s has a reputation as selfish and lazy.
Say “millennial” and what comes to mind?
Adult children who live off their parents and whine about their student loans while they buy $6 coffee drinks and $12 four-packs of craft beer?
Of course, we all know stereotypes are counterproductive and wrong, because they encourage us to judge the age, appearance, or background of a person rather than the individual’s character.
We think about the people we know and find those of all ages who work hard and contribute to their communities and those of all ages who work little and take from their communities.
People like this future sister give credit to their generation (not to mention the hardworking reporter who tells her story).
What could be more selfless than to literally give up everything you have and dedicate your life to the service of others?
It is a great encouragement to us – especially as the national news focuses endlessly on the bad behavior of politicians – to continue to find selflessness and service among our neighbors, wherever we look, week in and week out.