From Urban Dictionary:
1) The act of giving of yourself to help others. Often followed by a rush of happiness at knowing you've made a difference, but sometimes frustration occurs at going unappreciated or unacknowledged. However, many people volunteer tirelessly anyway, not wanting or needing any validation or applause for what they do.
2) What many high school students are forced into doing in order to graduate.
Do you volunteer? If so, what compels you? Personally, my volunteerism record blows. I volunteered a lot in high school, as in the second definition above. I volunteered some in college, partly to meet chicks. Many years passed. I started caring a lot more about everything, and did weird "volunteer" type stuff, like organizing a homeless potluck. There are a few potential reasons why volunteerism is a paleohacks issue:
So what say you? Volunteer an answer please :)
Just when I think I can't love you anymore than I already do you go and get all gushy-hearted on us. Great topic!
I was lucky to be raised by parents who believed in giving back and we started at an early age. We were raised to be of service to others as part of our obligation as citizens of the planet but While I still view it as my obligation I get so much more from it than I give back. If there is anything wrong with your life, you feel down, you feel unfulfilled, you feel unappreciated or unloved, go be of service to others. I promise you you will feel differently about yourself and your life and the world if you do. It is nothing short of magic.
I volunteer with animals mostly. I help socialize animals, care for them and find them new homes. I foster animals from time to time but it's so hard when I have to given them back so I have to limit this activity. I also care for the ferals in my area and help out with trap and spay projects a few times a year
I sort food and bag groceries at a local food bank twice a month.
Last year I went to the hospital once a week for two hours and rocked sick babies. It was my favorite time of the week but I wanted to take them all home with me and it was very hard on me emotionally. I'd like to do it again and hope to soon.
On Christmas day every year a small group of us go to the homeless encampments in Nashville and pass out food and clothes and toiletries. It is an amazing experience and it is the best way to spend Christmas I can imagine. There is one encampment near the downtown area where others will come and pass out money and things to the homeless. It's amazing to see people, families usually, coming by to hand out envelopes with cash. It's usually just couple of bucks but you would think these people had won the lottery. I just love the thought that families spend their Christmas Eve stuffing envelopes with 5 dollar bills and they all load into the car and come down and hand them out. I wish everyone could witness this, to feel the joy in the air and see the smiles on the faces of every human being involved in the transaction. Brings me to my knees every single year.
I've been helping build sustainable multi-use singletrack trails (hiking/cycling/horse) every summer since moving to the mountains.
The group I volunteer with builds trail by hand, including moving big rocks with grip hoists and rock bars. (The only exception is when truly giant rocks need to be split, when the hammer drill will occasionally come out.)
I'm proud to contribute my time to something that will give people (including myself) joy for decades hence...perhaps even centuries.
I started a non-profit to increase the availability and consumption of local food in my county in northeastern Vermont. We mostly try to educate people about why buying food from local farmers is better for personal health, the community, the environment, and the agricultural landscape. We also work to connect farmers with consumers; we started an online farmers' market to complement the regular farmers' markets in the area. Since starting the market, I have been putting in around 10 hours a week at this, on top of my regular job and kids and household stuff - I'm kinda burned out.
I think encouraging people to eat more grass-fed beef, pastured chicken & pork, and fresh veggies is pretty dang paleo - except our market does sell a lot of baked goods too. Oh well.
Until our recent move, I volunteered every Saturday during the season for 2-3 hours at our local Farmer's Market info booth.
Last week I worked in a community garden for 2 hours.
I do pro-bono work with moms & families who can't afford my services as a Pregnancy coach.
I don't volunteer in any official capacity for an organization or anything like that. Rather, when somebody asks for help or advice I give my time freely. I have enormous amounts of free time and I never so far declined a request for companionship, advice, guidance, etc.
I do have rules of engagement though. If somebody asked me to fly out to the states and see them I'd say no. If some girl having problems asked me to see them I'd say no. If somebody asked for help while I was spending time with my family I'd say no. So I do believe in some form of balance in how I prioritize things. I believe in making sure things are all well in my own environment before I start giving my time to others. I've seen many people who volunteer all the time who live in stressful situations at home, etc. They use the volunteer work as a coping mechanism or justification instead of dealing with their problems. I have serious issues with that because for me it shows substandard judgment and it's not in my mind the correct reason to volunteer. I wouldn't want help from somebody who couldn't help themselves.
Until I relocated to the east coast I was a volunteer dog trainer and behavior consultant at my local shelter. I taught obedience classes there for about four years. Now, in the area I live, priority is given to high school students seeking college admission and no one needs my talents. Being also unemployed, I have nothing but time and my increasingly negative thoughts.
But the human/canine relationship is a very important one and in many ways descends from a "Paleo" lifestyle, whatever that might mean to you. We've shaped each other's evolution in ways that no two species have ever done. I consider it an obligation and a pleasure to improve that relationship when I can, so I've become the local behavior guru at my dog park.
Yep. In high school I held babies at the hospital. As a "grownup" gone into hospices to play games and read. Worked in soup kitchens. Taught conversational English to new immigrants. Styled women in need for job interviews. Helped to rebuild a village in Honduras that was creamed by a hurricane. Did everything except DJ at a teeny tiny independent radio station so they could keep the music alive.
Umm.. I think that's it besides being available to help friends and such with whatever they need. Like, I set up a book release event on this week for a friend who had no dough so wrangled poncey food, brew, etc.
That's how I roll, not for any specific Paleo reasons, but because my mum was worried that my asymmetrical cut hair, partially shaved, was ruining me and threw me into the helper role.
Still listening to hardcore and punk. Still volunteering because it makes me feel good to help others succeed or be happy. But now pay too much for a fantastically quirky, very French, hairstyle. I'm nothing if not flexible..
(nice question kamal)
First, there is a connection to paleo because we survived as a species through versatility and our ability to adapt. That required volunteering to tend the old and wise as well as the young not yet ready to fend for themselves. Maybe the blind person they fed saved their lives by remembering a water hole when the others were dry, or that a certain plant was toxic.
I recently took in my 17-year-old grandson and I hand out medals at his cross-country meets, but my favorite of all my volunteer activities was being a Cub Scout den leader and teaching a bunch of young boys ceramics and other fun things.
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