by Christian Balodis, Member Engagement Intern
I’ve heard many times growing up how important it is to find a passion. My dad has always been a huge fan of the old adage, “Do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Well as it turns out, finding a passion, something that you truly love and care about enough to put your whole heart into, is not as easy as everyone makes it sound. After only 20 years of searching I’ve finally found one.
I’ve been working at a wide variety of different jobs every summer since I turned 12. Whether it was the eight years working at baseball camp, the long afternoons sweeping the front stoop of my parents' store, or the 400 CDs I would send out daily working at a record label, I, with the help of my friends and family at home, always tried to find the positives in my work. Now this is not a rare approach to have. Many like me work to have that “look on the bright side” approach to life. Keeping a positive outlook and mentality is one of the best ways to live a happy life, but much like finding one’s passion in life, maintaining positivity can often be a very difficult task.
When I moved down to DC from New York to start my summer internship at LSA, I was scared. There, I said it, really, truly, nervous and afraid. I knew no one within four hours and I (like most interns) really didn’t know the type of work I was getting myself into. But despite all the fear, I was ready to look for the positives and gain as much knowledge and experience as I could from the amazing opportunity I was presented with. Upon my arrival, the wonderfully kind and personable staff at LSA welcomed me with open arms and helped me to get acclimated faster that I could have possibly hoped. I quickly learned how sprawling and impactful the LSA network is, and the more I learned the more I understood the significance of the work everyone at LSA did.
Unlike many jobs I had had before where looking for positives in my work could sometimes be a struggle, for the first time I felt I was doing something really significant. I didn’t need to look for a “bright side” to keep me going, as I discovered the constant theme of service was the only impetus I needed. All of the work I’ve done at LSA, from every piece of data I analyze to every member organization I research, was done for the sole purpose of serving members, something often preached but all too seldom practiced.
It wasn’t until I really immersed myself in LSA, a setting that emphasized working for the benefit of others that I realized the strong passion that I had for it. Working at LSA has allowed me to realize the power that exists when people are brought together by a call to service, and understand what it feels like to do something meaningful and fulfilling. LSA is an amazing network, whose work has real impact on real people, and I’m so proud to be a part of it. I have truly found passion in the work I’ve done at LSA, and hope that wherever life takes me, I’m able to walk home every day with the same motivated, proud feeling that my work this summer has given me.
Christian is a rising junior at Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania, majoring in Political Science and English. "LSA Member Engagement Team Welcomes Summer Intern Fellow, Christian Balodis."
Member Engagement Summer Fellow
Lutheran Services in America