Thursday, January 23, 2020
How I Learned to Love Community Service :: Essays on Volunteering
"He who wishes to secure the good of others, has already secured his own." - Confucius "Caring has the gift of making the ordinary special." - George R. Bach Filing. The word itself made me shudder. The hours spent kneeling at the cabinet searching for folders, the monotony of sorting hundreds of papers into piles, and the sharp sting of pain as my finger hit the edge of a peer at the wrong angle Ã¢â¬â it was tortuous on so many levels. It had only been 3 months since IÃ¢â¬â¢d started volunteering at the hospital, and already I was sick of it. The copious amounts of paper cuts IÃ¢â¬â¢d compiled, the long drab hours of staring at the clock, the days of filing, filing and more filing Ã¢â¬â this was community service? This was not helping anyone Ã¢â¬â it was busywork. The more time I spent filing, the more my attitude became sullen and negative. Two weeks later, I was sent to work at the pediatric ward. Instead of the usual papers, I was handed a baby! Gently, the nurse said that the baby was ill and never had any visitors Ã¢â¬â in order to get better, he needed to be held, and would I mind holding him for a few hours? So it happened that I spent four hours rocking a newborn baby, scared that I would somehow accidently break him. In those hours of feeling the warmth of a neglected child, of looking into his innocent, pleading eyes, I realized that this was the essence of community service: helping those who couldnÃ¢â¬â¢t help themselves and giving time to those who truly needed it. The satisfaction and contentment that washed over me were worth every minute I had spent filing, every paper cut that I had ever received. My mind more open, I understood that even filing helped people, and as such, hadnÃ¢â¬â¢t been a waste of time. Since that bout of epiphany years ago, my volunteering has expanded. I hold a weekly class at my church teaching children about the bible. This experience has transformed nearly every aspect of my life. Designing craft lessons has increased my creative sense Ã¢â¬â something that IÃ¢â¬â¢d sorely lacked before. My planning and organizational skills augmented due to the time management thatÃ¢â¬â¢s required. My presentation and speaking skills have drastically improved Ã¢â¬â from being an awkward, mumbling speaker, I have become more eloquent and confident.