A late night last night, thanks to a board meeting that went on far too long, discussing things that didn’t need to be discussed. “Why volunteer?” is something that crosses my mind from time to time.
Generally speaking, I’m a believer in enlightened self-interest. I volunteer because I get something out of it. I believe in the cause I’m volunteering for. The volunteer opportunity is a chance for me to do something, or get to know people. And so on.
In some weird ways, I think it’s also a function of not having kids. I have more time than my parent friends, and I think there’s a kind of diverted need to make a mark when you’re childless. This is completely me talking out of my arse, though.
Why volunteer? Because somebody needs to do it.
I guess my volunteer motivation at the end of the day is opportunities where I say “If I don’t do this, nobody will, and it needs doing.” And what needs doing has to be something of value. The action, and the cause.
Sometimes, the causes feel a bit frivolous, compared to the Big Issues in the world today, but I feel like most of the stuff I’m involved with — radio, outdoors clubs, etc. — has some sort of knock-on value to the things I believe in.
It’s just a good reset button to hit from time to time. Especially when the volunteer work crests at the same time as other work and personal swells.
I need to sign off from this now to catch up on some of that. It’s not the best timing for a lot of coinciding things, but sometimes you just need to knuckle through the busy bits to get to clear water again. So… time to fire up the ol’ volunteer energy. Tally ho!