This post is part of the 21 Days to a Manlier Green series
There is a wealth of literature floating around regarding the positive personal benefits of volunteering as well as how to fulfill your desire to help others. There are articles and blogs telling you how it will change your life, make you more attractive to both women and employers, help you feel more fulfilled, and can even extend your life.
If you’re a younger reader it could even help you to win some scholarships entering university. Why would you not take part in an activity with all these benefits? While, yes, these all may be positive results stemming from volunteering, they are not why I believe it should be part of your journey to a manlier green.
Do The Right Thing?
So your goal for visiting this site, especially over these 21 days, is to become a greener, manlier, and all around better you. Hopefully this is helping you to improve yourself, but in being greener and manlier, womanlier for female readers, the biggest reason for doing things to better the world and help others is just because it is the right thing to do.
Perhaps you are thinking that altruism doesn’t exist anymore and humans are far too selfish for this. Maybe so, as we often seem caught up and lost in ourselves in the age of social media, but a greener, informed lifestyle comes with responsibility, civic duty, to contribute positively to the greater good of all.
Advice From A Doctor
Say what you will about Theodore Geisel’s lack of true rhyming ability, but you can’t question the impact his books had on all of our childhoods and probably even those of our parents. My favorite book by Dr. Seuss, and one of my all-time favorites period, is without a doubt The Lorax. The most famous and recognizable quote from the book is as follows:
UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. – The Lorax
I don’t bring up the Lorax to tell you that you need to go out and save all the trees. I don’t think Dr. Seuss necessarily meant to say this either. I simply mean to say that living a greener, more sustainable lifestyle isn’t solely about doing less and leaving less of an impact. Sometimes its about doing more and making sure that you leave a positive impact.
The quote is about doing things that you believe will make the world better and serving as a role model to children and peers, with the hope that they will then take the same initiative in our world. Think back to Day 0. What is it that you are passionate about? What is your purpose? Your why? Volunteering for a cause about which you are passionate allows you to feel more invested and in turn do better work. If you’re committed and positive, the outcome will be too.
Volunteering in America
Roughly 25% of Americans already volunteer and hopefully you are among them. Even if you are not, chances are in high school or college that you were involved in some sort of volunteering activities on one scale or another.
Getting started on your own however, can seem overwhelming for a variety of reasons.
- You don’t know where or how to begin.
- Your life is already too busy.
- You are choosing to trade some of your own free time to do something.
- There are no, very few, or perhaps even seemingly too many organizations doing the type or work you are interested in.
- Maybe you’ve thought about your purpose and still don’t know what type of volunteer work best suites you.
Here are some ideas and resources to help you get started:
Volunteering isn’t solely going out and doing labor in the environment or working with young children. Volunteer Match can help you find volunteer opportunities doing almost anything in your area.
This WikiHow (here) is really, really basic, but it does emphasize some really good points including taking your skills and talents into account when choosing a volunteer opportunity with the best fit. Plus the pictures are kind of weird and interesting.
When you volunteer, many personal benefits will flow your way and you may even start to feel all nice and warm inside. Volunteering can be an incredible experience so go out and try new opportunities and find the right ones for you, whether that is with an existing organization or just doing something on your own. lt’s our responsibility to go out there and do something good in the world, which has given us so much.