ponedeljek, 02. november 2009

Why volunteer? Why not!

Do you watch or read the news regularly? How many good things, events, phenomena are presented there? Almost none. Does it mean that good things rarely even happen? So you can look around and try to make them happen. You don't need any spare time to wait a few seconds and hold the door for the neighbor climbing the stairs that lead to the main entrance of the building you live in. Neither do you need any spare time to smile to your neighbors instead of just saying Hi with a dull expression on your face.

Of course if you happen to have spare time, you can inquire in your local neighborhood whether some social institutions like schools or retirement homes or some non-governmental organisations like charity need volunteers.

I read in several books how good it feels to volunteer. So a year and a half ago I volunteered in a retirement home close to where I live. I still visit a lady that lives there every week. She is only 44, but she cannot walk and has nobody to take care of her, so she decided to live in a home.

It was very depressing at first. Every time I came home after my visit in the home, I felt guilty for being able to walk and do all other things she cannot. It was horribly tough to swallow the pain and go visit her again. I even thought of quitting. However I kept saying to myself: »You cannot make her walk again. All you can do is keep her company once a week. If you stop doing that, you are only going to make her life worse.« So I kept going there and after a few months I managed to accept the fact that she cannot walk and also has to put up with a lot of pain.

Now we are friends and I must say she helped me a lot more than I helped her. She always gives me wise advice, she jokes a lot. She is optimistic. She very rarely laments. The most amazing thing is that she - who really has a lot to lament about - hardly ever does it. She is so much fun to chat to. Which is very valuable in these days when there is no time to chat.

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