Changing Ourselves Through Service

Never underestimate the transformative power of helping others.

At some point or another in our lives, we all need a little bit of help.

Sometimes we need a lot.

Whether it is physical, informational, or emotional assistance, we all eventually need help at some time, for some reason, and in some way.

This knowledge is an extremely powerful tool.

It tells us that someone else, somewhere may actually need our help right now.

And, when we are feeling down, when we are overwhelmed, or when we are simply uninspired and unfocused, helping others is nearly guaranteed to lift us up, set us straight, and give us a sense of clarity and purpose.

It does not have to be something big, dramatic, or showy.

In fact, our assistance can be something that is so subtle and modest that no one else even knows it occurred.

Every act of kindness and generosity we bestow upon others, so long as we have no expectation of reward, praise, or even acknowledgement in return, is a gift we give to ourselves.

This gift has the power to change our lives, our outlook on the world, and our relationships with others.

As we change the world, we are changed also.

If we change the world for the better, one word, one gesture, and one action at a time, we too will be changed for the better.


Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.

Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Kogen Dojo Self Defense Academy where he teaches Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

All photos by Robert Van Valkenburgh unless otherwise noted.

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