By Brandon Logan, Volunteer Leader for SA2020 Resolutions (Follow him here!)
The year was 2002 and, at the time, I was going through my most challenging hardship as a high school student-athlete. My team had just been eliminated from the state playoffs in football and our season was over. Not only had our season ended, but also the hard work I had put in with my teammates over the course of our high school career had abruptly ended. This loss happened during my senior year, so there would not be an opportunity to avenge this loss.
Feeling dejected and disconnected from my community, I still had to pick myself up emotionally and get prepared to attend school the following Monday. My first class that morning was an elective course that took place off campus at a neighboring elementary school. You see, prior to my senior year, I had been selected to participate in a program called PAL, which stands for Peer Assistance Leadership. The mission of the PAL program is to tap the leadership potential of young people like myself to make a difference in the lives of others.
So on this Monday morning, I was serving as a big brother to my 5th grade student, Jamal. Jamal was typically a very reserved individual like myself, but for some reason on this particular Monday, he was more outgoing than usual. Dominating the conversation, Jamal curiously asked, “How was your weekend?” I began to tell Jamal about the tough loss, but before I could complete my story, Jamal interjected. He said although I went through a tough loss over the weekend, he wanted me to know that I had changed his life.
I changed his life because I served as the male role model that had been absent in his life since birth and he simply wanted to tell me thank you. Sitting in silence for a few seconds, a new emotion began to take over and it was a feeling I had never experienced before. Those two words from Jamal transformed my life. Jamal not only played a major role in my life, he helped to transform it to a new level of significance. The student who I was tasked to go make a difference in his life, actually just added a new dimension to mine! While I may have suffered the loss of an important football game, Jamal showed me about winning in life. I quickly hugged my “little brother” and told him thank you with a renewed smile on my face.
Within that moment that I shared with Jamal, I was able to discover why I was born – I unlocked my purpose! I came to the realization that when you give, you actually receive – and I had to learn this through experience. I was born to serve, and life was no longer about me. The mindset shift that I experienced was the most defining moment in my life to date. My thoughts changed from me to we, from consumption to contribution, and from selfish to selfless! From that day forward, I no longer felt as if I just existed on this earth, but rather I was now living. And it feels good to live – abundantly! My Mondays and Fridays now felt the exact same and it wasn’t because of a win or loss on the field. It was because I was serving others genuinely on the field of life and leading with a servant’s heart. I wasn’t looking for what I could get out of life, I was looking for what I could give in life – and great things began to unfold. Relationships began to form and opportunities became abundant.
Getting people to engage in their total self is no easy task. I’m not telling you it will be easy, but I am telling you that it will be worth it. I know the fullness that giving to others has brought to my life, starting 12 years ago with a 5th grade student. I want more citizens of San Antonio to experience this feeling — the feeling of truly being alive. You will radiate a different energy when you connect to your passion and great things will unfold for those serving and being served.
That’s why I am proud to share that I have agreed to serve as the volunteer leader for SA2020!
I am committed to moving the needle on volunteerism in our great city. Today, and throughout the remainder of your lifetime, I want to challenge you to serve in your passion! I believe we have all been uniquely created to address different concerns in this world. Here is the great news — there is no right or wrong passion! When you lose yourself in your passion, what you’ll find is an opportunity that is waiting for your unique skills, gifts, and abilities. You’ll find something you deeply care about, which inspires you to serve.
If you haven’t found your passion, I want to help you discover it, because passion makes impossibilities possible! Your passion might not be to serve within the school system like mine, but it may be volunteering with our seniors, improving neighborhoods, spurring downtown development, or eradicating illiteracy rates among our youth. My goal is not to ask you how to contribute, but instead to remind you that we are better when everyone contributes! San Antonians, recognize your passion, and then take action! Let’s engage, share, and serve – together!
I was fortunate to have Jamal in my life 12 years ago. And I owe him a debt of gratitude for what he taught me. If you are ready to make the transition from focusing on success to focusing on significance, then please join me on this journey and commit to volunteering at least 20 hours this year in the area of your passion and track your activity through SA2020.org. San Antonio has been coined a “City on the Rise” for a reason, and now is the time to show the rest of America just how awesome we are. Let’s do this!
Yours in service,
Brandon A. Logan