I never thought a decision to ‘do something’ would have such a profound effect on my life then on after. This decision was to volunteer my spare time at BoysTown, a youth organisation, before I started studying full-time again. I had to chance to see how the simplest decisions you make as a teenager can shape your life for the decades to come. Decisions such as saying no to drugs, going to school, and who to hang around with etc. When I think back, while I didn’t appreciate it at the time, I had my parents to keep me on the straight and narrow anytime I might waver. Unfortunately the not all youths have parental barriers on the edges of bad decisions, let alone, ..parents.
While I hoped the youths learned a few things, I certainly took away some lessons worth keeping. I learned how once money is removed from the equation, you’re efforts are no longer on a scale of increasing expectation, but appreciation.
I learned that just like not everyone has the same values, not everyone values the same things. Specifically money. While I wasn’t earning anything, I found the feeling and effects of my contribution, very fulfilling and rewarding in itself.
I then went to study and return to a position chained to a desk. Fast forward to the current day, and rather than looking for my next chain, my past experience tells me that I would be happier if the chain isn’t required. I know the type of job I would like to have, and coming close to three non-profit organisations, tells me I’m in the right direction to finding a job I willingly will attend each day.
In the mean time, rather than feeling powerless or depressed, I’ve reminded myself of the reality that there is always people who are worse off. This isn’t by faking a diagnosis to attend a testicular cancer group. I’ve started to volunteer again with three different charities. It’s amazingly simple, making others happy has as shared effect. It goes perfectly in line with a quote Buddha had about happiness being like a candle. You can use the one flame to light many others , without the first candle being at any loss.
Or another quote that sums up this whole post..
I want my life, I want my work, my family, I want it to mean something. If you are not making someone else’s life better then you are wasting your time. – Will Smith