The first Thursday of each month, City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley Executive Director Beach Pace will write a featured blog post.
This month, Beach answers the all-important question: Why does she serve?
I was recently asked why I serve in City Year. After almost 4 years of City Year service and 11 years of national service, I’ve never really explored the answer.
What I found is that I serve because I love it.
Service is an act of love and while on a daily basis it may not feel like that, ultimately, that’s what it is. It’s pure love being expressed through work.
Ironically, my previous service and work experience is not what you would think of as loving places. I am a graduate of West Point, a military university. Following graduation, I served in the US Army for 7 years and then spent 10 years in corporate sales and marketing before joining City Year.
The military and corporate industries are not known for their loving and nurturing environments. However, the ranks of these organizations are filled with people passionate about their profession. They are passionate about being the very best what they are doing. I have found the same passion in my colleagues at City Year.
This question of why I serve has not only reminded me of my love for service, but also my love of country. The motto of West Point is “Duty, Honor, Country.” At City Year, each day I have the privilege to do my duty honorably for my country and world.
In my 20’s I never thought of my service as love. Even if I had, I probably would not have admitted it to my fellow soldiers out of fear of being perceived as weak. However, at 42 years of age, I am comfortable and confident talking about love and serving through love. I’ve learned that loving something wholeheartedly takes incredible strength and perseverance.
In his final address to cadets at West Point (cadets are the same age as City Year corps members) General Douglas MacArthur spoke of the West Point motto. Even though his address was delivered in 1962, I believe the sentiment to be timeless. I have read the speech many times but when I hear it, I can hear in General MacArthur’s voice the love of his country come through.
Here is an excerpt:
“Duty, Honor, Country. Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying points: to build courage when courage seems to fail; to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith; to create hope when hope becomes forlorn.”
Express love. Serve.