Giva Student Scholarship Winner Essay: Joseph Lee - Interview with Dr. Paul Kent

Giva Student Scholarship and Worldwide Ambassador Award winner, Joseph Lee, interviews one of his heroes for social responsibility, Dr. Paul Kent:

Interview with Dr. Paul Kent About Serving Others
By Joseph Lee

Why do you think it is important that we serve others?

People always think they are too busy or tired to serve or applaud me for serving in the midst of a busy schedule. I don't see it that way. I actually NEED to serve to survive. When I serve I get rejuvenated. When I serve my energy levels refill. It's like I'm on empty and I go on a service trip or service project and that tank gets refilled so that I am able to continue with the daily grind. So it's actually the opposite way of thinking for me, I serve so that I can be a better father, husband, doctor and every other hat that I wear. If you think of it that way, your perspective on service completely changes. And service does not mean going to Haiti or Rwanda, but are you helping your neighbor, your colleague, your friend? That is all service.

How do you believe privilege plays into service?

Look at me, I believe I basically have every type of societal privilege one person can have, some of which are not even under my control. With that said, I think it is even more important that I serve as an advocate and voice for groups that are still marginalized and discriminated against in our society. And while some may ask why I am advocating for groups that I have no affinity with, the answer is simple. As fellow humans beings, we are all entitled to basic human rights. Why is it that some people and groups in this country get to celebrate it, while others are cast aside to the fringes. That makes no sense to me and something we must change. We must ALL do this!

What are some suggestions you have for going about serving others?

Expand yourself. Don't be so comfortable with the role you play now or the position you are in now. It's such experiences that can really challenge you and develop you in ways you didn't think were possible.

Fight for every child, fight for every life. Remember that every child you care for and treat is someone's heart and soul. Remember that your patient is someone's son or daughter. Such a lesson didn't make complete sense until I had children of my own. When that happened my view and perception of what our patients and the families of our patients experience completely began to change. It made my job harder in the sense that I now truly understand the sorrow of what it would be like to lose a child. At the same time, it made my resolve to do my best to save every life or provide a more comfortable life for all my patients that much stronger.

Surround yourself with people that are fighting for the same mission. They are out there. Seek them out. It is not always easy to commit yourself to service and change in our society. I feel like there are fewer and fewer people who actually care and take time to care for others. And so, it can often get overwhelming or disheartening. That's why it's so important to surround yourself who are also committing their life to service. People who you respect. In that way you can rejuvenate your spirit and learn new ways to give back. They are out there, you just have to actively seek them out.

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