Editor’s Note: Derek Slaton reflects on his time with DC Service Corps as he has recently discerned out of the program in order to pursue a different path.

My time at FMS has been short but filled with many ups and downs. The downside, being far from home and far from all the people I love. The upside, being the people I have met and grown close to over this past month, who have have taught me so much. It is wonderful to experience a place where such a diverse group can come together and share their ideas. It continuously challenges me to question my own ideas about how the world works and see things from multiple perspectives.

Over this past month I have learned so much. Prior to coming here, I believed my biggest desire in life was to go out and make a huge impact on the world and really live a lavish and fast lifestyle. My time here at FMS has already showed me what really matters most to me in life. It’s not all the big things in life that change the world. It is the little moments where we encounter people right where they are and love them unconditionally; that is what really matters. I hear this message all the time here at FMS and I find it to be so beautiful. 

I was always told growing up that the world would be a better place if everyone took care of their family and their neighbors. I believe this now, more than ever before. Wherever we are in life, and whatever we are doing, we can make an impact. We just have to love like Jesus taught us to.

This seems so simple until we put it into practice. There are so many days that I’m just too tired to smile or still haven’t had my morning coffee yet and don’t feel like being friendly. I’m also usually the first person to get very defensive when someone challenges my beliefs instead of turning the other cheek and showing them love. I think we can all relate to these examples in some way or another. Just think of what the world would be like if we worked on these habits and started showing more love.

This has become my new life goal. I still have aspirations to follow my passion for business, but I feel that I have gotten closer to understanding what life means to me and I will be forever grateful for the experiences that I have here at FMS. 

Let’s all just love more! Thank you all, God Bless!