I've given it a lot of thought today as I pondered this blog prompt from BlogHer's September NaBloPoMo writing challenge. I think it boils down to selfishness. Wow, that was hard to write.
I don't mean I'm selfish with my time, I've discovered that I'm protective of my heart. To directly serve someone less fortunate is an act that stirs uncomfortable emotions.
*The fear that I'll judge those who've made different life choices than myself.
*The guilt of having more.
*The recognition that I take it all for granted.
*The anxiety of 'you can't save 'em all' or that whatever task you volunteered to do doesn't really make a difference in the grand scheme of things.
I wonder if anyone else feels this way?
Right now, the only way that I volunteer is to make a charitable donation during the annual program at work. I pick an amount per paycheck, choose the organization to receive my gift...I check the boxes on the form. Pretty lame actually.
Every year as the holiday season draws near, I entertain the idea of volunteering at a community dinner, serving those who can't afford to drive themselves crazy, cooking for days to feed a loving, extended family like my own. But I'm afraid to see the poverty, worried that the pity in my heart will show on my face or heaven forbid, I might cry. And deep down, somehow it feels a little wrong to feel proud of helping others, because that in itself feels selfish.
So during the time it took me to write this
post, I've decided that maybe I'm more suited to event volunteering. I've been involved with a marathon and taken pledge phone calls for my local public television station. A behind the scenes team member, for instance packing boxes at a food bank was a better fit for me. Because serving face to face might just break my heart.
I want to do better with my life, I know that together, we can do great things.