When I decided to dedicate one year to serving with those facing injustice, I had…
My community has spent time this year reflecting on how we can measure success and prosperity through the lens of simplicity. We cannot measure our success this year based on the money we make, the title we have, or our grades in classes. We cannot compare ourselves to our peers who work full-time paid jobs or who are in school. With all these standards unavailable to us, how do we determine the ways in which we are doing well? How do we see where we can do better? The way I have come to assess my success throughout the past few months has been based on the Core Values of MVC: compassionate service, social justice, spiritual growth, community, and simplicity. I can recognize specific ways within each of these values that I have grown, as well as opportunities for further growth. Throughout it all, my community members have consistently given their support and vulnerability through all the ups and downs.
My idea of simplicity has changed drastically since starting my service year, as has the way I perceive myself and my success. When the superficial fades away, we create space for the genuine to shine through. The care and love that I have been shown by every person I have interacted with this year, from neighbors to coworkers to new friends within this MVC cohort, has meant more to me than any amount of money. Creating a home in a new city, developing connections with those around me, and serving those in need brings a level of fulfillment beyond what a title or pay raise ever could. I am not working towards a more impressive image or more material wealth, but rather, towards becoming a better community member, advocate for social justice, and provider to those in need. Calling this just “simplicity” almost feels wrong, because the relationships and experiences that have defined my success this far could not be more complex. Regardless of the level of success I appear to have by societal standards, I know that I am successful where it matters the most.
Lucila Radke: Savannah, Georgia