“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others” – Gandhi
I’d like to spend this post talking about my time I’ve spend volunteering. Not only have I learned about myself through this, but I’ve also been able to reach out and better the lives of others. This experience has been so rewarding to me that I’d like to encourage all of you to follow.
A little over a year ago I started volunteering at a nursing home by my high school. I don’t like animals nor do I enjoy watching little kids and I wanted something to do with my time, so I decided to help the elderly. The first day I got there I walked into a room filled with elders playing games and enjoying their time. I immediately felt a sense of belonging and I knew this was where I needed to be. In the two short months that made my summer, I spend five days every week there working ten till four. I had to care for the residents, play games with them, clean, help wait tables in the dining room, bus after meals, and spend time with the residents as well. Though the work was hard and I wasn’t being paid, I had never felt happier. Each day I talked to the residents the compassion they expressed towards me was something I had never felt before. The smile on their faces when I had talked to them made up for all the hard work. To see how much they really appreciated and cared that I was there only made me want to help out more. When the summer drew to a close I knew I didn’t want to stop. Any break I had during the school year I spent at the home (as long as I wasn’t traveling). I still spend any free time I have there. I’ve found a second home and a second family.
Through volunteering I’ve also met some of my best friends. Not only do we share a passion for helping people but we also want to do whatever we can to help anyone we can. Volunteering has really bettered my life and I’ve realized that even if you only spend one day doing something, you’re still making more of a difference to someones life than you would if you never helped out. I’m not asking any of you to dedicate your life to volunteering, but I am asking that you at least spend one day helping someone out. A weekend where you have nothing planned, or even a few hours during the week can make more of a difference than you could ever image. If you’re having a bad day it can completely turn around your mood. After All, “One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself”