Volunteering Gives Purpose
My father-in-law just turned 91. He lives on his own in a seniors building, he drives, he cooks his own meals and I firmly believe the reason why he is doing so well is because every day he wakes up with purpose. Every day he gets up and he goes outside, and he cleans the driveway and the parking area for his fellow residents. In the winter he clears snow, in the fall he clears leaves, and in the spring and summer he sweeps away dirt and dust. He does this for others, he has a purpose. This is not just a practice he developed during the covid lockdown; he has been doing this for at least the past 20 years since he retired. Before he moved into his seniors home, he would get up every morning at 6:00 AM to clear the parking lot of his church of any ice or snow. He has never been asked to do these things and he certainly has never been paid. He doesn’t have to, he has purpose.
This past year has been incredibly difficult for the majority of us. What has helped me survive this most un-normal, socially distanced of times still emotionally intact has been my volunteer efforts.
At the very start of COVID in March 2020 I was fortunate to be able to work with a group of dedicated, passionate, smart, focused professionals who banded together to create an event for our industry peers who desperately needed it.
By focusing on things bigger than yourself, by focusing on things that serve others, it allows us to have meaning and purpose. During this past year of covid lockdowns it’s very easy for one day to blur into the next, however working with others to serve others creates opportunity to see the uniqueness of each day.
It is very fitting that 2021 is the International Year of the Volunteer and the week that I am writing this is national volunteer week in Canada – as contributing to others may be what saves us. I salute all the volunteers and thank them for their service, and I also say – good for you for finding purpose.