Those who practice the Martial Arts know that these arts are more than just a means for self defense or a manner in which to increase fitness. Martial Arts are a complete way of living, encompassing aspects of the spirit as well as the body. To be a well-rounded Martial Artist, it is necessasary to achieve focus and harmony in all aspects of your life. One way in which you can increase the strength of your spiritual being (your chi) is to help others by becoming involved in community service. In most of our communities there are a wide range of service opportunities in which one can participate depending upon personal preference.
One idea that promises a really great service experience is helping out at a local soup kitchen or shelter. Shelters and soup kitchen are always in need of dedicated people who want to make a difference by spending a couple of hours a month helping out. Another idea is to visit residents in an elder care facility or retirement home. The elderly often have a wealth of accumulated knowledge and wisdom. Service with the elderly can b an interesting, fun and charitable way to spend your time. A third great idea for a service project is to help out organizations that are trying to make a positive impact on their communities by building and repairing homes for those that are less fortunate. One organization that you can contact to get involved in this kind of work is Habitat for Humanity.
Whether you pick one of these ideas or choose something totally different, involvement in community service activities can make a great impact on you and the community that you are serving. Remember to enter into service with an open mind and heart. Prepare yourself to be of service to the community in which you will be lending assistance - take the time to learn a little bit about the members of the community and the project on which you will be working. Try to envision the community in which you are doing service as part of a cosmic whole instead of an isolated group or area. Remember we are all the same, the life force that flows through you is also flowing through those that you are serving. By helping out another person, you are improving the chi around you, making the community a better place to live and making yourself a better Martial Artist. But most importantly.....have fun!