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Author: slowlythere Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 3078  
Subject: Re: How do you respond? Date: 1/3/2008 9:49 PM
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Also for background, I very rarely even tell my closest friends how much I volunteer, if I tell them at all. And I trust them. Since I think I'm a little ADHD at times, I just tell them I'm onto one of my numerous miscellaneous activities and that's that.

Otherwise, a few of the organizations that I volunteer, they know of my related volunteer organizations since many of these local organizations end up knowing or working with one another in some capacity.

Bummer. I occasionally say these things myself to other volunteers, but not sarcastically...Just say it outta habit I guess and I never "mean" anything when saying it. And, I'm a volunteer of sorts.

Oh, I hadn't meant that it's always taken unpleasantly. For me, I actually never really noticed it until a couple of years back. I don't think most people who say these things mean something bad and it's probably more of just an idle comment to acknowledge volunteerism.

But I've noted infrequent, but distinctive persons who use the same terms and manage to make it sound nasty, or implying that the volunteer is up to no good. It's hard to explain, but when it happened a few times (over a long period of volunteering, at different places) I started to wonder what it really meant, or why people make such comments, anyway.

However, when someone says to me, "oh, so you did your good deed for the day..." I usually reply with, "Yes, because I need the points to make up for my childhood." or something similar.

Actually, before Christmas, somebody made a comment about Santa Claus, or something. I remember joking, "oh, I've been very naughty. This good deed won't be anywhere near enough I need to make Santa happy," or something like that.

Thing is, I actually do need the points, but that ain't why I volunteer for stuff...I volunteer because I like to and I believe in whatever it is I'm volunteering for. Mostly it's picking up someone whose car broke down or for hospital workers needing a ride when the weather's bad around here in the Winter. I don't usually volunteer for "established causes" or "groups". I dunno why, I just don't.

Heh, I don't do it for 'points' in any real sense. At least I don't think it has any merit on an individual scale.

Also, I realize maybe that most people who have some sort of faith, associate volunteering with their faith systems. I don't have any actual faith system, but I'll say I'm actually a severe cynic that anything one consciously chooses to do as a "good" as such will mean anything for them individually, or for the universe at large.

Honestly, I often believe in that saying, which goes vaguely, "no good deed goes unpunished." In other words, sometimes when you try to do a good thing, it actually ends up hurting you. Sort of like the good samaritan who ends up getting hurt, killed, or at least written a ticket for something. Heh.

My sense of volunteering is usually to help someone else, but with the realization that I will most likely never see any significant, or meaningful outcome. Otherwise, my own personal motivation for being active and involved is often just so that I can put myself to some sort of productive use and usually in some place that I actually believe in. Volunteering is like a job, but without the salary. Or the stability, credit, formal title, etc., etc. Heh. What volunteering does for me, though, is allow me to at least express genuine personal desire in some area or organizational goals. If I'm working at McDonald's, for example, I really don't particularly believe in a giant corporate behemoth with sometimes questionable nutritional and other values. But if I pick a volunteer organization, I usually believe in it's mission statement, philosophy, or whatever.

Well, I sorta take that back...I do try to help Odee (BoB) with OFR, but that's web site stuff, not actually doing anything physical like he, or anyone else, does for OFR.

Yes, I've noticed there's a lot of people around TMF who participate in volunteer activities in some sense. I think most people really do volunteer for what they believe in; sometimes it overlaps with their system of merit points and there's nothing wrong with that, really. As long as they believe in what they're doing, somehow things will fall into place.

Tell 'em y'all needs LOTS of points for those three murders y'all commited a few years back when a group of idiots made sarcastic remarks about y'all's volunteerin' activities. :-)

LOL! Thank you, I actually had a good belly laugh on that one. :) It would help if I gave them a really sinister grin and a kooky sideways glance, eh?

Anyway, it's been a while since before the holidays that I've volunteered. My main issue has been I've been taking classes, but also because several different volunteer experiences have left me uncertain about how to volunteer more usefully, or at least places where they don't consider volunteers as little more than unpaid workhorses, but dumber (since they *choose* not to be paid). It's hard to escape personalities, but the nice thing as a volunteer, I can leave when I feel I need to.

Thanks much for your response.
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