Volunteerism: My Love Hate Relationship

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I’m a volunteer. The Fall of 2000, I took a life changing trip to Cambodia. My team dug a trench to free a flooded school from water and did a medical clinic in a rural village. This trip led my wife and I to 16 years of following a calling to serve the poor in Southeast Asia. So why the โค๏ธ hate relationship with the concept of volunteerism? 

Let’s begin with love. It stole our hearts, opened our eyes, gave us wisdom, made us better people, and gave perspective that we are incredibly grateful for. 

But what is there to hate? When volunteerism takes the place of an individuals life calling.  When a volunteer takes a trip once a year to feel as if their penance has been gained. Of course, not all fit that box. I also hate boxes. But, I love freedom, sacrifice, passion driven lives who live to love. That’s the hate. Anything that takes the leftovers and scrapes it off the top and the says enough! My job is done! But in reality what’s left behind are lives stuck in darkness, trapped in poverty, abused while withering away. 

What to do? Don’t volunteer to wash your conscience. Don’t volunteer for you. Volunteer so that you too can be a world changer and never look back too! 

Let it change your life. Just because it’s difficult to go home and integrate that experience into your day to day, doesn’t mean that you don’t. The greatest things in life require sacrifice! What will you do with your experience?

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