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Seven lessons from a service year to kick off 2021

Updated: Feb 24

This article was originally published in Notes from the Field, a series on The Global Sisters Report (https://www.globalsistersreport.org/authors/celina-kim-chapman).

(Photo by Theodor Eilertsen Photography on Unsplash)

Instead of resolutions this year, it may be more beneficial to make a list of lessons to live by.


For many people doing service years, January is the halfway point of the program. This has been a shocking but comforting fact for me. It shows I have been able to survive five months of pushing myself to live through the Good Shepherd Volunteer tenets of simplicity, social justice, community and spirituality, but it also reminds me that I still have a long way to go until the end. I have hundreds more memories to make, a plethora more lessons to learn, and six months of hard work and effort to give. Reviewing what I have already learned so far has helped me realize the different lessons from a service year that I want to practice for the rest of my life and that will continue to help me open my mind to learning more.


In this video, I share a small portion of the lessons I have reviewed on my own, but that's not to say I left out important ones. These seven phrases to live by will help in all areas of life, whether you're grappling with how to get through the continuing pandemic or struggling to find peace amid political turmoil. It's time to turn off the news, put down your phone and truly listen to how living with a service-year mindset can make 2021 better than last year.


From this, I challenge you to make your own list of lessons from your own life experiences. When you realize how much you've learned already, you will see that you've always had the potential to make your life the best it can be.

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