I LOVE this question, Jack, and I love you for asking it. Here is my answer:
Think of a group of people anywhere in any society, whose situation makes you really, really angry, or really, really sad. Or think of a group of heroes like doctors and nurses and firefighters and paramedics and all of the brave people on the front lines fighting daily for all of us during this coronavirus pandemic. So, identify WHERE you want to serve. That’s first.
Then, think of all the things that group of people needs. Call organizations that serve them and ask how you can help, or start something on your own. Figure out a way to meet the needs of those on your heart, and DO IT. MAKE IT HAPPEN.
Volunteering makes you happy, Jack, because it feels good to put others’ needs before our own, and it puts our own problems in perspective. Volunteering also really, really helps people. You can LITERALLY change someone’s life. You can be someone’s angel. For what else are we born?
So think Jack, of where there is pain, where there is need, where there is fear or despair or hunger–and go there. Give. Be the hands and feet of love incarnate. Compassion changes the world, one person at a time and there is NO GESTURE TOO SMALL, Jack. So NEVER doubt the difference you can make to someone in a moment of their greatest need. Who knows but that you have come to your position in life for such a moment as that?
Let compassion change you, and it will change your world, Jack!
Be hope, be light,
PS–and do not be afraid to make mistakes, Jack. “Goonies always make mistakes!” We’re a team.