Fulfillment: The Power of Volunteering

Volunteering has a very profound effect on the people that are actively volunteering that most people who aren’t volunteering have no idea of.  Volunteering is so powerful because we choose to do the volunteering, it is appreciated, and it allows us to love the people we are volunteering with and allows them to love us back.

Recently, there has been an upsurge in volunteering in the U.S. There’s also been a lot of talk about volunteers and volunteering. People are spending more time doing volunteer activities and thinking about volunteering.

Why would you want to spend your time doing things for someone else, when there are so many really good things you need to do for yourself and people you care about? When you have to work forty hours a week, or more, just to make your end meet your other end? Why on earth would you want to do more work?

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Because volunteering has a very special power that many people don’t realize until they actively start volunteering.

That power may best be described as “energizing.”

Volunteers who really fit their volunteer activities find that those activities do not make them tired; they keep them feeling fit and able to do everything else they have in their lives, from work to hobbies to housework to walking the dog.

Why is volunteering so powerful?

I think there are three main reasons.

One lies in the very meaning of the term volunteer. If you’re truly volunteering, and not doing it because you’re required to for work, or to pad your resume, or to get credit for class, you’ve made a choice to spend your time in this way. And you have a choice of where you spend your time. If you are not happy with one volunteer activity, you can always choose another. This power of choice gives you energy and strength. In many areas of our lives we can only do things a certain way. We have to work where we work and follow the rules. We have obligations at home and in our relationships, and not all of those are open to change. But we volunteer only because we’ve chosen to.

Another reason volunteering is so powerful is that it is appreciated. The people who sign up volunteers are always happy to find a volunteer, and enjoy and appreciate your company and your work. Especially if you do not feel especially appreciated at work, you will find that your volunteer work empowers you through other people’s gratitude for your work.

Finally, volunteer work is love. It allows us to love the people we’re working with and for, and it allows them to love us back. Most of us, quite honestly, do not love enough and are not loved enough in return. We may begin to feel we’re not that important, or that we just aren’t contributing in our lives. Volunteering lets us give the love we have, get love in return, and know we matter.

Just a few hours a month spent in volunteering can bring such enormous change to your life that you might be amazed you can get all of these benefits without even paying for them.

To benefit from the power of volunteering:

  • Think about areas in which you might want to volunteer
  • Check your local paper for volunteer opportunities
  • Find one volunteer opportunity you are interested in and sign up

Thanks to Credit Card Lowdown for including this in the Carnival of Money, Growth, and Happiness, and to Wealth-O-Nomics for linking to this post.

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