Rediscovering The Path
When your eyes are exposed to economic and spiritual poverty whose main victims are women and children who have survived attempted murder, physical. sexual and/or mental abuse there's no doubt that clarity and courage help to push for change and action to help alleviate the trauma and suffering of those affected.
It’s been one week since I returned from a service trip to Honduras with Caritas Smile, my charity whose mission is to randomly perform acts of human kindness, connect volunteers with community service programs and teach sustainability to women and children. The four-day trip created an updated image of volunteerism in which I rediscovered the reciprocal impact that community service can have on one's life.
Volunteering teaches people compassion and understanding. This type of work can be forgotten or disregarded as the demands of everyday work/life balance become a priority, leaving no time to engage in service work. Goals of changing the world for the better or leaving a lasting legacy for the advancement of mankind fade away, leaving questions about the purpose of life and how to sustain happiness unanswered.
To answer this popular doubt: “what is the purpose of my life?” my reply is modest. Take a moment to acknowledge the blessings that have already arrived to you. Next, make a plan to shift your mood to a state of gratitude and appreciation. And lastly, know that someone else is worse off than you and offer a helping hand to those less fortunate than you. As Gandhi once noted: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Stepping outside of yourself and creating a selfless and giving blueprint will surely help create clarity and confidence as you set fourth to discover and create your life’s path.
Are ready to volunteer and make a difference in someones life?
Tip 1. Start with your strengths
Look around yourself and start with anything that you think you can do. Remember, it's very important to start with what is easiest and to gradually move on to more challenging activities as you grow more confident. Starting with what you are sure you can manage, you can lay a solid foundation for future steps.
Tips 2. Have the courage to say no
Don't be too ambitious if you hope to continue your volunteering for any length of time. Remember that it’s important to have the courage to say no to what you think is beyond your ability.
Tip 3. Keep your promises
Never break promises you've made, even if they seem to be trivial ones that you just happened to make during casual chats. It goes without saying that you must keep your word regarding such things as when you'll visit and the kinds of services you are going to provide. Don't make an exception of children, either. They are counting on your help and relying on you. Your responsibility is a very heavy one.
Tip 4. Volunteering is mutual
Volunteer activities are not charity. Pushing kindness on others can be not only a nuisance, but also an obstacle to establishing a personal relationship on equal terms, since it divides the parties involved into a superior "giver" and an subordinate "receiver." Volunteering is not a one-way flow of assistance, but a mutual activity where you'll also learn from those who you are trying to help. Volunteer activities provide a wonderful opportunity for personal development and self-fulfillment.
By Sixcia Devine
"Volunteering teaches people compassion and understanding"
Sixcia (pronounced six-see-ya) is the founder of Caritas Smile - she helps non profits, businesses and organizations use technology connect to communities and clients within growth markets. She is the author of Tapping Into The Hispanic Market: Connect. Engage. Innovate. She writes feature stories for magazines like Cosmo Latina, produces industry trend reports, and offers business growth tips on a YouTube channel.
Caritas Smile, a charity whose mission is to inspire, educate and empower women and children worldwide. Volunteers in its signature program, Take a Trip Change A Life, perform random acts of kindness in orphanages, hospitals, and mental wards in the U.S. and developing countries.