For me, volunteering offers new perspectives and has changed my life on several occasions. It has allowed insights into new cultures and traditions, but most importantly it has allowed me to see first hand the struggles of other individual human beings and what a harsh place, at times, the world can be. This has instilled in me a sense of humility and gratefulness that I’m sure my parents wished upon me in my youth. Volunteering makes me want to do more the more I do it.In my travels I have met so many great and inspiring people. From fellow volunteers to the people I am helping, it never ceases to amaze me how kind, understanding and enduring the human spirit can be – especially in hardship.
For those of you who have volunteered before – you’re awesome. Do it more. Try to do it consistently if you can. It really makes a huge difference (which I’m sure you know). For those of you who haven’t volunteered, but have been wanting to – what’s holding you back? And for those of you who have never considered volunteering (I’m happy to say I don’t think there are many) – why not?
I truly believe the world would be a vastly different place if everyone – and I mean everyone – took the time to do something for someone else. The world would be:
If more people volunteered I think we’d all be a little kinder to each other. When you volunteer, you forget about petty things that would normally put you in a bad mood – i.e. losing to your roommates in Mario Kart 4 times in a row.
Poverty creates desperation. Desperation leads to crime. Fix poverty and you’ve got a safer world. I know it’s not that black and white – but what if it was?
Changing the way we think starts with empathy. Have you ever considered there might be a very good reason one child does better on their homework than another? Maybe it goes deeper than IQ – maybe one child has to worry about whether or not they will have a place to sleep. That mindset comes from volunteering experience. It’s harsh, but real. If more of us volunteered, more of us could ask these questions and solve these real problems.
Less obsessed with success
It’s true. You know it – I know it. At least in America, many of us are obsessed with social status and possessions. I don’t think this would be the case if we focused on having a great experience and living in the now. It’s a great feeling.
People get caught up in their own little worlds and forget that there are 7 billion more of us – many of which don’t have a roof over their head or clean water to drink. We need to start thinking globally.
Yes, I’m an idealist. I know I can’t get everyone in the world to volunteer, but if I convince even just one person with this blog post then I’ve done my job.