Who’s talking trash, now? HYPE members are – or at least we were this past weekend. Even though we were not on a b-ball court, everyone of us on the streets was talking trash. I’d like to say it was because our super smooth dribbling and dunking skills made the crowds go wild, but there were no crowds. Rather a dozen or so of us workers were talking trash clean up strategies for improving the span of blocks leading up to the Houston area animal shelter – BARC.
As you can see from the photo above – at the end of the morning, the dumpster was filled. Mission accomplished! And, we had a good time and good feelings while doing it. You see, this area gets a good cleaning maybe once a year, but doing so makes it a more pleasant experience for patrons of the animal shelter. Families dropping off or picking up pets would otherwise have to drive through an area that looks like a city dump. It was no easy job to clear things away since wild vegetation had grown up around many piles of trash and other piles were soaked through with rainwater matting them to the ground, . But it was very rewarding to see the area neat and tidy after we worked through pesky pest problems and gunk piles. We even picked up tires, old big screen TV sets and other dumped objects the previous owners didn’t properly dispose of.
This marked the first community service event for HYPE – Houston Young Professional Endeavor. HYPE is a part of the Greater Houston Partnership. The group’s website states, “The mission of HYPE (Houston Young Professionals Endeavor) is to enhance our next generation of business leaders by providing professional and personal development opportunities to young professionals in the Greater Houston Region.” This mission shone through clearly as the crack unit of workers got up early on a Saturday to give their time when it would have been easier to cut a check, sleep in and let someone else do the unpleasant work. I was super impressed to find that a number of my peers who volunteered also drove luxury cars. Yet, these individuals were still not too proud to get their hands dirty.
What about you? Do you believe giving back and serving are critical keys to your success and development? I do. It strengthens our character, keeps us grounded and helps us be more grateful on our way to the top. Society today gives us a million and one ways to be self-centered, to shrink our world to one that revolves around us as the hero. Then, that world keeps us so busy signing autographs, there’s no time left to actually save anyone. There’s a better way of living than merely finding new ways to climb the ladder of success just so people can look up to us. Let’s stand on the ladder with purpose, so we get a good perspective on the work that needs to be done to improve the lives of others around us. That’s what MVP’s are best known for – looking out for their team. One of the most important teams to play on is Team “My-Local-Community-Matters-to-Me.” Whenever we seize an opportunity to put values back in the word valuable – that’s when we are succeeding at being a most valuable player in the game of life.