Monday, April 25, 2011

No "I" but "U"

In a piece I wrote titled "Breaking Down Barriers & Walking the Path of Accessibility" I wrote something about how if I won the lotto one of the things I'd like to do is give up work, if I could, and become a philanthropist. I mean there are certain things I'd like to do at home, living within means, taking care of my family, etc...., but if I had the money I'd like to simply become dedicated to getting involved in lending a helping hand. No fancy car, or boat, or any other grown-up toy that some of us buy, use once (or in a blue moon) and then let sit around collecting dust. I like volunteering, being of service and seeing something or someone succeed. And I appreciate seeing others help out too.
There are plenty of people out there who could use a helping hand, someone to hang out with, someone to talk to and share with. There are a ton of good causes that have the single purpose of benefiting others. You can click to Find a Volunteer Centre or even just type in "where can I volunteer?" into Google or any other search means in your community.
Volunteering isn't just about helping others out either, it can be self-help/healing too. I'm not saying neglect your job, because we all need a steady pay cheque, and definitely do not forget about your loved ones; but getting out there and doing something that isn't just about an "I" thing but about a "U" thing can be so good.

After graduating college I was feeling a bit over-whelmed with my career choice. Not only was it difficult finding openings and getting interviews but making my way through any interviews was tough. Things were looking bleak, I was feeling horrible, depression was bound to kick in. Then my mom recommended I volunteer my time at this local theatre, I was a creative person and this was right up my alley. I began meeting people, I enjoyed working with a team, it was fun seeing how the people who attended these shows reaped in the rewards of the work we all did, and I ended up getting a job which lasted eight years. Eight years in a place where I worked hard and learned and made friends and grew. My passion for writing, which I had lost in my high school and college years, was re-kindled. And it all started with volunteering.
I no longer work at that same place or do the same thing, but I do continue to write, (in fact, I've published a book), I'm more confident in working with and talking to people, and I still volunteer whenever and wherever I can.

My mom had an accident quite some ago and she attends a program that is partially run by volunteers. She has come so far because of some of the joy and caring they have brought to her life. She even works and assists them now with certain things whenever she can.
Volunteering has done her good and she enjoys helping out. Volunteering has done me good and I enjoy helping out. It puts smiles on faces, it broadens horizons, it builds character, it teaches, it creates relationships and makes connections. Volunteering can look good on a resume, but it also feels good in the heart, puts a twinkle in someones eye and it helps with the flow of life.
So, aside from my positive thoughts that remain with regards to landing that future big jack pot, I wish things were made a little easier in the present so that we could all reap in the rewards of offering a little less "I" and contributing a little more to the "U".

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