“I am as served as the person that I am serving. When I help I have a feeling of satisfaction. When I serve I have a feeling of gratitude. These are very different things” –Rachel Naomi Remen
Gratitude was the overwhelming feeling of today’s experiences. Today was our second day on the Church Hill Primary School worksite and the progress made was remarkable. We were able to finish painting the exterior of the cottage, sweep out the inside rooms, prime the interior walls and start to paint a beautiful “waterfall” blue on the living room walls. The progress made did not come easy, it was hard work under the hot Jamaican sun and I know I could not have done it (at least not with a positive attitude J) without my new friends/sisters. That is why on the bus ride home, all I could think about was how grateful I was to be having this experience. Grateful that I have learned so much about the Jamaican culture in such a short time. Grateful that my sisters are hardworking. Grateful that the children at the school are welcoming and excited to see us. Grateful that my sunburn is not as severe as it could be. But I am especially grateful that my path has crossed with 17 other women and somehow our work ethics are compatible and we were able to serve this community with determination. At one point during the afternoon, I walked outside of the house with 4 dirty paintbrushes and sweat dripping down my face. Immediately two of my sisters jumped up and came with me to help wash them. I was grateful for their help.
After dinner, we discussed the difference between serving and helping. We learned that helping is based on inequality. Service is a relationship between equals. I hope that the gratitude I felt today is common amongst us all and we will be able to take the lessons we learned today home with us to continue serving in the future.