Posted on : 26-06-2012 | By : Lynn | In : Leadership, Mind Fodder
Well, sure. I’m sure there are all kinds of agendas behind volunteering. The critical, paranoid side of me wonders (quite loudly sometime in my brain!) who it is really promoting volunteering when many of us are already having to squeeze out every inch of time and energy available to try to make ends meet.
On the other hand, I have been giving my time to various anonymous groups that help alcoholics and addicts (food) get (and keep) sober/abstinent for many years because we learn when we get a new lease on life that what will keep us sober/sane is to “give back what we have so generously been given”. Right now, I’d say I commit through meetings and working with others at least 12 hours a week to that effort (of which I am grateful to do).
The pros for volunteering is that it does help us to get out of ourselves in order that we can be of service to others–and in my opinion that is always a good thing! I think what is still stuck in my craw is that the encouragement of volunteering (via PSAs on television and radio) feels disingenuous. It feels like the subliminal message is to fill in the economic gaps that are continuing to widen with the glue of volunteering; otherwise, it is our (prospective volunteers) faults if the help does not get offered/given. What the encouragement to volunteer does not feel like is that anyone really really cares whether we’re growing spiritually/emotionally or not.
I do feel that volunteering is important. It is important to give back to the world and others; however, it is equally important to understand why you are volunteering. Understand what you are giving in terms of time, energy, thought and heart, because that really can make a difference.