Monday, January 19, 2009
Do you volunteer for your community on a regular basis?
I think volunteering is a great thing, but I sure do not, not measurably anyway.
Yet over the past several weeks, with Obama's frequent appeal to us to get involved with public service in order to help bring our country together and improve our communities, I am feeling more and more compelled to change this.
Today of course is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and while reading through some of his writings, I noticed this quote: "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"
Despite the fact that tomorrow is the Inauguration and kinda a big deal, the Obama's have evidently taken up today for public service.
I know soup kitchens and food pantries are understocked and in need of hands to keep things going. I know there are plenty of places to find listings for volunteer opportunities. And yet I don't pitch in.
It's not for lack of positive role models. My Mom had a very well-developed sense of public service, and was always engaged in something charitable on top of her full-time job and being a Mom. From answering phones during the local public television station's pledge drive and canvassing for the politicians she supported, to organizing community crafts fairs and heading up my Girl Scout troop, public service was just part of my Mom's life.
I just don't feel like giving bags of unwanted clothes to the Salvation Army once a year compares.
(And I don't mean talking for free at events about my work -- that doesn't count. I mean, it's volunteering, but it's not really helping the less fortunate or cleaning up streets or anything).
So I am deciding today, in honor of Martin Luther King and President-elect Obama, to make a change. I am deciding to spend a few hours each month going outside of my comfort zone and pitching in for the greater good.
If you, like me, are not an avid volunteer already, I invite you to join me. Let's make a change and start pitching in, because it's all about being the change you want to see in the world.