Serving Generations

by Jen Slayden on · 11 comments

My 85-year-old father recently sent me a fascinating book by Tom Brokaw titled The Greatest Generation. I was immediately taken by stories of those from the Great Depression and the Second World War; especially how his generation really did shape the world we live in today.

The synopsis of the book states "this generation was united not only by a common purpose, but also by common values-duty, honor, economy, courage, SERVICE, love of country, and above all, responsibility for oneself."

My father is a great example of these fabulous traits. He served in the navy during World War II and raised us seven children with the premise that life is a beautiful place when you learn to serve.

Even at his age, he still practices serving others. He volunteers at the local food bank, sings at the nursing home for the "old folks" and continues to practice what he preaches to his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

My parents and their seven kids at a recent family reunion

I realize I am very lucky. When a parent models a life of service to others it is bound to rub off on the next generation. From all the great values my father has taught me, the one I am most proud of is continuing his legacy of service with my own children.

I take my children to play music in nursing homes on a regular basis. We have volunteered side by side with my father at the food bank, teaching my children that good people endure hard times, and that serving others in any way we can is not only good for the soul, but in my opinion, our community and our country.

I recognize that the word "service" comes with anxiety for some. They feel that they do not have the time, the skill set, the money, or the personality to serve. I would challenge everyone rethink how to be of service to others. Many times it doesn't take any time, money or effort to serve.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Smile at the lady at the DMV and thank her for HER service.
  2. Drive an elderly neighbor to the store when you have to go anyway.
  3. Use your talents and gifts (for example, music, artistic ability, dance, good listening skills, etc.) and share them with others. This is SERVICE!

What are your ideas on serving others?

Amidst the challenges we live in today, we can and should continue to strive to honor the generation of my father by continuing to teach our children about service and more importantly, model how we can live a life of service, every single day.

In Harmony,


by Jen Slayden

Jen Slayden finds her harmony in Western Montana with her husband Mark, their three kids, and an outdoor loving black lab named Cody. Stop by and check out her life in music, words, and education at Find Your Harmony.
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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer Richardson August 4, 2012 at 3:00 pm

I love this!
yes, service is a word that seems demeaning to many now
but it’s a beautiful, beautiful thing
and I’m grateful when I see it in action.
thank you to your father
and to you,
Jennifer Richardson´s Last Fabulous Post ..August rest……My Profile


Find Your Harmony August 10, 2012 at 9:37 am

Service IS a beautiful thing. Not just for those who receive it, but the ones who serve find their lives enriched so very much:)
THanks for your comment Jennifer!
In Harmony,
Find Your Harmony´s Last Fabulous Post ..BILLY GOAT GRUFF?My Profile


J.D. Meier August 4, 2012 at 10:37 pm

I think the beauty of serving others is that it reminds us that we’re strong enough to do so, and that if lifts us in the process .

Lifting others lifts ourselves and together we are strong.
J.D. Meier´s Last Fabulous Post ..Why Do We Communicate?My Profile


Find Your Harmony August 10, 2012 at 9:38 am

I agree J.D.! Together we ARE strong.
Thank you!
In Harmony,


William Veasley August 5, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Jen: Lovely family and article! It was nice reading it and hearing about your father. I was blessed to have a stand up father as well. It is great to have someone I can actually look up to and that has always had my best interest at heart. Not very many people can say they have parent they look up too and that is why I tell mine how much I love them.
They have given me the values that I have today like, strength, integrity, truth, love, and kindness. As far as I am concered, life’s good. ( :

P.s nice site!

Best wishes,
William Veasley
William Veasley´s Last Fabulous Post ..Agree To DisagreeMy Profile


Find Your Harmony August 10, 2012 at 9:41 am

Thank you so much for stopping by, and for your comment.
I feel very fortunate to have had a parent like my dad. He is such an inspiration. I am happy to hear you had that as well. And it saddens me to know there are so many children out there these days that do not have the inspiration or role model from a parent. But hopefully we all can try our best to make a difference in some small way for those children.

Take Care.
IN Harmony,
Find Your Harmony´s Last Fabulous Post ..BILLY GOAT GRUFF?My Profile


Crystal @ Broke-Ass Mommy August 5, 2012 at 7:08 pm

I’m a huge fan of helping others. In fact, when I don’t volunteer for a few months, I can actually feel myself getting blue. Right now, I volunteer with a local hospice and visit their clients at a nursing home near my house.
Crystal @ Broke-Ass Mommy´s Last Fabulous Post ..A Sundry SundayMy Profile


Find Your Harmony August 10, 2012 at 9:46 am

Thank you for your work with hospice! I have first hand experience on with my family on the wonderful care and compassion hospice workers have. I appreciate that you are involved in that!

ANd research does show that people who volunteer are happier than those who do not! So you aren’t imagining that “blue” mood!

Thank you so much.
In Harmony,
Find Your Harmony´s Last Fabulous Post ..BILLY GOAT GRUFF?My Profile


Dora August 9, 2012 at 9:26 am

Your father must be such a great man! His story must be really interesting, motivational and inspirational. These kind of men are protecting their families and the old school values.
Dora´s Last Fabulous Post ..A nők helyzete a fejlődő országokbanMy Profile


Find Your Harmony August 10, 2012 at 9:48 am

I have often thought about writing more about the life of my father and what it was like to raise seven children! He really has a lot of stories. And although we haven’t always agreed on everything, he is an inspiration to all of us and continues to be well into his 80s!

THank you for stopping by!
In Harmony,
Find Your Harmony´s Last Fabulous Post ..BILLY GOAT GRUFF?My Profile


James @ August 25, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Personally, of all the people I’ve met, the most honest, generous, loyal, respectful, loving, and courageous are the ones who are old and elderly right now. Even if their primes where times of hardships, these were the days that gave birth to the best people in the world.


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