Former President Bill Clinton once stated that, “Citizen Service is the very American idea that we meet our challenges not as isolated individuals but as members of a true community, with all of us working together. Our mission is nothing less than to spark a renewed sense of obligation, a new sense of duty, a new season of service.” Agreeably, I personally feel that citizen service also interpreted as volunteerism is the cornerstone to upon which much success is achieved. Anytime one gives of his or herself freely and for a productive cause, you can guarantee that someone will see and recognize that work within them.
We MUST Understand, that it has never hurt anyone to volunteer and give back. These days everybody wants something for nothing. Why not give something and expect nothing sometimes? For example, my wife and I have volunteered for the Acres Home Chamber for Business and Economic Development, Inc. since its creation in 1989. A lot of people see us and look and the work that we do and assume that we get paid. We have never received any monetary value from working at the AHCBED. But when you make a commitment and are serious about remaining loyal to it you must continue with that path, no matter who comes or goes. I am not boasting of my wife and I good deeds, but am merely using one of the best examples that I know to use.
Volunteering and doing community service can take you to unimaginable places. I have known young people, interns and just everyday people that have started out volunteering; and have ended up owning, managing or serving in some of the highest capacities of an organization or company. Many people do not realize that starting at the bottom; and working your way up gives you the privilege and opportunity to know all about how a company or organization functions, and the things and people needed to make it work successfully. It is no accident that employers compose applications that seek for a list of potential employees’ affiliations with community service involvements and such. It tells them who you are before they really can determine who you are for on their own.
We MUST Understand that, “A volunteer is a person who can see what others cannot see; who can feel what most do not feel. Often, such gifted persons do not think of themselves as volunteers, but as citizens – citizens in the fullest sense: partners in civilization.” An anonymous writer once made reference to a fact that is very true. “Don’t ever question the value of volunteers. Noah’s Ark was built by volunteers; the Titanic was built by professionals.” I really don’t think that this statement needs any interpretation. But for the record, it has been said that Noah’s ark built which was built by a volunteer withstood the test of time. However, the Titanic which the engineers said was an unsinkable ship, sunk! How ironic is that?
At the end of the day, I would just look to encourage the loyal and faithful readers of African-American News&Issues to try donating some of your time and energy to volunteering at various organizations.
Believe it or not, it will make a world of difference in not only your life, but the many individuals that you will have the opportunity to meet and come in contact with. Kind and small gestures really do go a long way. Concluding, volunteerism should not be looked at as a choice, but more so a responsibility.