There’s an inner angel in us all and finding it is the key to fixing our global mess. Change is always a leap of faith and it takes an iron will combined with a heart of pure love to do it. To know that all of humanity is your kin, to live and breathe that life, to strive for everyone and not only yourself is truly our holy grail.
Of course, none of this is possible without volunteering. It all began in a crowded after school meeting for a service organizationâ€”driven more so by peer pressure, rather than an innate desire to help those around me. Key Club, as the others called it, connected high school students to local volunteering opportunities; to my friends and I, however, it was another way to manipulate the admissions processâ€”to slap a deep-rooted practice on our resumes, to hone our overall profiles. Certainly, I signed up for my first event reluctantly, unsure what to expect at the senior citizen home where I was to administer an art project. Yet, in the moment I fell in love with the activity; my knotted stomach replaced with welcoming arms. It
was as if I was surrounded by Fairy Godmothersâ€”brushes replacing wands, my heart overflowing with gratitude. I found my niche that day, wielding the power of volunteerism by my side to craft true social change.
The single art project with a few seniors has effectively turned into a lifelong desire to better communities. Not only has the practice facilitated friendships and connections, rather it has heightened my self-confidence, self-esteem and provided an identity to my persona. Even then, without monetary compensation, volunteering arms the public with a sense of purposeâ€”the power to dedicate time and resources to the organizations they feel a special connection to.
Whether it be at the care home or amidst grassroot poverty in India, my 16 year-old self has mobilized volunteerism to deepen perspective, to ultimately prevent rumination. Undoubtedly, as volunteering involves helping those in need, itâ€™s pivotal in showing us that, in fact, our own lives are not as bad as we thought they were.
As a conceited high-schooler immersed in a toxic grade culture, I embraced volunteering, and with it a hope to pioneer definitive societal change. While the latter half of the aspiration is still on my agenda, the phenomenon has converted me into a model citizen; I would never be the same without it.
BY: Aditya Desai, MRC Volunteer