“Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.”
― H. Jackson Brown Jr.
Me (Laura) and Ana are EVS volunteers in Macedonia for an eight-month term project,& I think it’s enough to get to know each other.
Today we can say that we, the people, are very different, we have different thoughts, perceptions of life, different passions and even temperaments. But all of us try to find a quality that represents us, one we like, and this makes me wonder about the beauty of life. The quality that makes us resemble is the ability to bestow.
In modern society this quality is called – volunteering.
When colleagues from the team asked us to write a text about volunteering, knowing that today, 5th of December is the day of volunteerism, we wanted to explain what volunteering means to us in 3 words and even argued a little about our attitudes.
Ana: “For me, volunteering can be echoed in 3 creative words.
Dedication, Adventure and Discovery.”
*Dedication – Volunteering is to give without receiving anything in return, to give without hesitation: time, emotions and breaches of one’s own life. It’s about willing, it’s about conscious, and it’s about imminent dedication. It’s about what you really like.
It’s about the courage to leave the material factor sitting well on the back seat where you come back to it after you’ve learned your lesson.
Volunteering is not about one person and this probably is its magic.
It’s about teamwork where even the smallest piece counts, a puzzle where if a piece is missing the picture is not complete. Volunteering grows in you as a grateful, graceful, kind, devotion and dedication without hesitation.
*Adventure – When you embark the “job” of a volunteer, you must be prepared to pass through all the emotional stages characteristic of the human species.
You would be, kind of like “Alice in the Wonderland” or “Gulliver in the Country of Dwarfs” and you might sometimes wonder if it’s worth it… Well I admit IT IS, YES.
The adventage of volunteering is that sometimes you can get higher education, although, it, the high education is not obligatory for those who are eager to live, to look beyond the barricade.
Or, with its help newer ones become more open minded.
Volunteering is a walk through the “Fun Park” bringing you from absolute happiness to humiliating helplessness.
I remember, the most memorable volunteer experience I have ever had, was when I was 16-year-old, in a Environmental Center, I traveled 155 km on foot, with torn shoes, nights spent in tents, sunburned cheeks and stories told the evening in a round fire. All of this, to sensitize and discover new details about a river on the deathbed. After the 15 days I spent there, I was amazed about the “child” that got into the adventures of volunteering and the courage that I gained thanks to that.
*Discovery – Whether you find people, places, or you find yourself, volunteering above all means “the courage to get out of the comfort zone”.
Let’s admit that some people live their entire life in that comfortable “circle”.
Well it is good for the volunteers to have the courage to wipe the area and then, step beyond. Whether you are a volunteer in an international program, or a volunteer in a children’s hospital, it challenges you to discover cultures, lives and stories that a hired employee can not find out.
“Volunteering for me means time, patience, and love. Why these words? Well, cause’ for me, all the things in this life depend on them”.
*Time – I have always been fascinated by the power of time and, above all, by the capacity it has, by the way it puts everything in place, by the way intellectual and spiritual man grows, by the power it offers, and the truth that it offers. I think time is the biggest currency we have, and when you give your time to other people, when you give yourself to others in order to help them, the result is amazing.
*Patience – for me is an exercise of thought.
We live in a century in which everyone is rushing, and most often we want to have something right away, without waiting, we hurry to dream, to do things, we hurry to do everything, forgetting to admire life and simplicity. Life is hiding in the small details. When you are patient, you are able to appreciate the smile of a man, you can feel the inner happiness, and you know that behind any of the results, there is a colossal effort
*Love – This is my favorite word. Love is the basis of all things, and love is the explanation, or the answer for any question you have.
Everything starts from giving love to yourself, when you love yourself you understand that every person is unique, everybody deserves to be loved.
When you have the light within you, you also have the happiness to give it. To love your fellows means to be ready to help them, to be ready to listen to other people’s pains, or to stay with others for a noble cause, to bring a note of kindness in a century in which people become more and more individual.
Each of us chose three words, words through which volunteering can be explained or furthermore, how its importance can be demented.
What are your words?
What is your motivation to stay with someone when he is weak, and he is without any mask?
What is your motivation to listen, to give, to stay with someone, without asking for anything in return?
Perhaps beautiful things should not be explained, but only felt. The experience of bestowal is one of the most beautiful things one can feel.
Volunteering is a state of light and warmth.
Article written by: Laura Muruzuc, Ana Creţu.