My volunteering journey started when I got into the student council in high school. The only reason I was elected was because my older sister was popular on campus.
Through my last 8 years in school, I spent almost all of my free time doing organisational work. I enjoyed what for me were practical applications of what I was learning from books and my teachers. I organised enrichment talks, fundraising parties, movie premiere nights, presented in corporate offices to ask for sponsorships, and administered a great deal.
Frankly speaking though, there are days when I question why I’m spending too much time doing volunteer work. “It’s so much easier spending my time getting paid.” You see, someone who has been volunteering for so long can have selfish thoughts too.
So, why do I still do it? Your story might be different, but I guess this will still resonate with some people, including you.
1. I feel purposeful.
If my pen could talk whenever I use it for writing, it would say, “This feels amazing!” It’s its purpose. I believe that humans are purposed to give - through looking after, caring and loving others. That’s why we become a spouse, a mother, a father, or a friend. When we don’t get to exercise our purpose, we feel something’s missing.
2. My skills get thoroughly honed.
As there’s so many leadership opportunities in the volunteering space, I get to put my hands on projects that hone my skills. Content development was part of my previous job and I only really got better at it when I started writing newsletters for charity. I wanted to conduct training more in the same job but it was just not coming. Meanwhile, opportunities to do volunteer public speaking is immense. My ex-boss saw photos of me on social media doing that and gave me a shot at doing bigger presentations.
3. I’m full.
When I overeat, I don’t feel good. Something’s gotta come out. Have you felt that too? I think, in terms of wealth, health, relationships, skills, and ideas, we can only take so much. They have to come out of us. When I start thinking abundantly, that’s when I realize there’s more where it comes from - from God - so everything else that’s beyond what I need I should give. See, it’s not completely my will that let’s me do it - it’s the design of my being. And I think we’re all the same in that sense. I’m from earth.
4. A generous person prospers.
So, if my theory is correct that we were born to give, then it’s only our laziness, fear or what not that hinder us. The good news is, there is a promise out there that says that if we are generous, we will prosper. Google Proverbs 11:25. Prosperity can be in the form of wealth, health, relationships, or other tangible things. I’ve seen the product of this formula in many people’s lives and have experienced it myself. Sometimes it’s a weird economy too: I do the volunteer work, my husband gets the job promotions. I’m ok with that, since our bank account is joint. Hehe. Beyond the material, prosperity, I think, is first and foremost getting to do your purpose. There you go, we’re back to point one.
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