Whenever we talk about volunteering, it is common to think of the heroism it is to help the poor and taking care of the sick people in hospitals, or maybe by helping children without a home.
BUT, we rarely give that same emphasis on the changes it makes to who we are during the course of the volunteering period.
If you do ask a volunteer “Why are you doing this?”, You rarely get an answer that doesn’t include the effects it has on the person’s way of seeing the world. If you’re not sold on this, here are some examples of what volunteering in India may do to you and affect your way of looking at things.
Let’s take volunteering in helping the poor. If you have a medium-sized salary, a home, went to school when you were a kid, have your things and your passion… You don’t know what is like having a six years old son that can’t go to school or does not have a single toy.
Now, most of the time, when you volunteer to help people in these conditions, you’ll probably enter with the thought of “There is no way I could help them become more wealthy and have better life conditions.” Truth is, it’s extremely hard to change one’s condition, but you won’t understand the feeling of giving a poor kid some old toys and watch her react with confusion and curiosity, then followed by a burst of energy and happiness.
That old saying that people are poor because they refuse to work or they use drugs because it is their fault; these kinds of thoughts and one-sided look at things will vanish when you hear thousands of stories of how families got into the hole they currently are, and chances are you’ll sympathize with almost everyone of them.
Volunteering is not necessarily working for free. You are free to walk away if you want, but you are getting paid, just not on the conventional money.
When volunteering, you are getting valuable resources that the modern capitalism has put behind money in a matter of importance. You’ll be paid in long-lasting friendships, smiles, people that are grateful to you, stories and people that are willing to listen to you just as much as you were willing to listen to them.
Volunteering is not a win-loss situation; it is a win-win where both sides help each other with the resources they can give.
Being a volunteer makes you realize how many people you had in your life that were selfish and didn’t care about things like these. Because of that realization, you’ll feel much better as a person.
“Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.” – Camille Pissarro
When helping poor kids, and working for charitable foundations, sometimes you’ll want to come back after some time has passed to see how everything is going on.
People who experienced this once will tell you that there is nothing compared to returning to a poor family you’ve helped and seeing that they are doing much better than when you left them.
You’ll see the new things they bought, the new jobs they were able to conquer, kids are going to school, walls are painted, windows are fixed, and there is no better feeling when volunteering than seeing you’ve helped build that peace.
“Let me encourage you to get up every day and focus on what you do have in life. Be thankful for the blessings of the little things, even when you don’t get what you expect” – Victoria Osteen
When you leave your house to enter another much simpler than yours, with simpler, humble people, you start to think about the things you have that facilitate a lot your life.
Volunteering will help with daily stress and anxiety and you’ll feel much more relaxed when you start to thank life for what you got that day, even if it wasn’t optimal.
You’ll also start actually wishing good things to strangers you’ve met during one day, and you’ll feel good about it.
Helps you accept who you are – your flaws and qualities. “You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.”?
When you meet new people in these conditions and start helping them, you’ll start forgiving your past and accepting who you are.
People will be grateful, show love, kids will hug you when they see you and your family and friends will tell you what a hero you are.
You’re not a hero; you’re just planting your seed in the world and seeing it grow into a better one. This is what volunteering will do for your life, and others’.