Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Glow of Volunteering


Volunteers seem to gravitate toward each other ... Mike Land is an expert in the field of community service, as an associate professor of English and director of community service learning at Assumption College in Worcester, Mass.

Land took a cross-country road trip and chronicled his community service discoveries in his blog, www.servingthestory.com. I asked him, “Did you discover any surprises or circumstances that you did not expect?”

“As the trip unfolded, I found myself focusing more and more on the connection between awareness and action, and how each feeds the other. Without the satisfaction of being able to take some positive action, the awareness of the vastness of the problems out there can make people fall into feelings of despair, helplessness and cynicism. Some sensitive people can even check out of awareness altogether for days at a time, because they can’t get a positive handle on things. Whereas the action of volunteer work, or even taking a job in a cause-driven nonprofit, both fosters awareness and makes that awareness easier to handle. The many people I met working with immigrants on the border, or the homeless on the West Coast, or with the environment, or other causes, radiated a positive energy about what they were doing, even when talking of the odds against change.”

---From The Cambrian 

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