Volunteerism

I once had a conversation with my late mother-in-law whom I really admired and respected.  In her mid-80’s, she told me that life was over and she was bored and wished it would end.  There was absolutely nothing wrong with her physically but she had lost lots of friends in recent times.

In an effort to get her being interested in life again, I suggested that she do some volunteer work that she was interested in.  Her answer stopped me in my tracks:  “Been there, done that.  I’ve contributed my share and I’m done.”

Now, this really struck me as very odd.  I have been a non-stop volunteer most of my adult life and I really didn’t know there was a dividing line that you could cross where you could now say that you don’t need to help make others’ lives better.  I mean, she wasn’t even of the “me” generation that has been famously presented as being totally interested only in themselves (probably falsely labeled anyway).

We live on a planet and co-exist in societies that have people who need help.  Whether it is helping to tutor a young student so they do better in school and make a good life for themselves, or raise money for charities, or do volunteer visiting to folks who have no one in their lives otherwise, or even make cakes for needy children.  The number of ways that you can help make someone’s life better are absolutely endless.

Live together, work together, and help one another.  Never stop caring about others.  These are my mottos.

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