ASMP — American Society of Media Photographers

Volunteer

By April 27, 2010 May 24th, 2016 Strictly Business Blog

If you’re not busy enough with work and also too busy trying to find some, try this: volunteer. Take some of that time and give it away.

Be a Big Brother or Sister, coach a kid’s team, mentor a child. take your charming dog to a nursing home every week. There are so many people in this world who need help, and it shouldn’t be hard to reach out and find a few of them. It’s probably best to do something that involves real human connection, though working at some kind of wider-ranging effort like fundraising would be fine too.

When I’m busy at a job I feel energized, but there’s often a little ambiguity in the mix, and I find myself asking if the world needs me to urge it buy another thing. But I know that the volunteering I do is unambiguously right and good. And having one clearly good thing in my life seems to re-balance everything else.

In his book, The Gift, Lewis Hyde talks about the huge importance of the things we pass around our society as gifts with no compensation. We can’t sell love or hope or compassion or so many of the other things that make us human. But giving them away brings enormous returns.