By Jacqueline Labrador
Our world is becoming a small place. At any one moment we can find out what someone is doing in Tokyo, chat online with another in Brussels or look at a satellite image of a village in Angola. It seems as though we are a very connected society; and through the internet and social networking websites we are able to stay in touch with others throughout the globe. But what we seem to be missing out on is deeper connections with others. We have become so reliant on superficial indirect methods of communication that it leaves a basic element missing. Our lives are full of so much over stimulation that it’s hard to break away those simple moments, which is where the most joy and meaning can be found. If at any point we feel like something is missing in our lives, then maybe we need to step back and focus on something other than ourselves to really get in touch with our true self.
Volunteering can be a great way to connect to others in a world that is increasingly becoming closer, yet less connected. It can become a way for people to be involved in the global community and to physically participate in creating a better, more positive world, whilst gaining valuable life lessons. There are so many reasons to become a volunteer and by getting involved in a charitable organization it can become a way to really get to know ourselves and our purpose in life. This greatly benefits the disadvantaged community and breaks down social barriers, creating understanding and tolerance between different cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Whilst going overseas and committing a month or more to an international organization may seem out of reach for some, there are plenty of ways to make such an endeavor manageable. Many organizations offer scholarships and grants to assist people in going overseas, and if you decide to fundraise every contribution is a tax deduction. A few organizations even offer their experiences for free. Even more simply, we can reach out in our communities by joining a local organization or helping out with fundraising events.
Find something that you are passionate about or a natural skill that you would like to share with others. This will increase the positive impact that you will have on the community and the overall experience for you. Try working with children in Rwanda, monitor coral reefs in Thailand, or protect dolphins in Greece, and so many other possibilities that can be found at Universal Giving.
Like so many things in life, it is one that you have to experience to know the value that it will provide. But for many people it leaves them more open minded and enriched with an experience that changes them forever. It just takes small steps to create a better world and if we all lead by example it takes us closer to a more positive future.