Finding Some Self Respect

Because I am in between jobs at the moment, I have found that even though I am searching and applying for jobs almost constantly, I still have a lot of time on my hands. This idle time is killing me inside because it allows my mind to focus on everything I’ve done and the regret compounds itself to the point where I feel physically ill. Although I am not looking to drown out the pain, I need something to help me keep it to a manageable level so I can at least focus on making things better, rather than succumbing to the negative thoughts and falling into an inescapable depression.

The one activity I’ve always engaged in when I’ve had extra time was to volunteer. I’ve volunteered for countless organizations over the years, in a variety of roles and responsibilities. It has always brought me great self respect and pride. And it is something that I crave as a person. I need to be giving back something to society. I need to be helping others. It is just a part of me.

Of course, right now with everything going on, I can’t get involved in any of the organizations that I’ve been involved with previously. None would want to be associated with me while I work through this anyway, and I understand that.

Most of my volunteer work over the last few years have been more management and administrative. But in the past, I used to volunteer my time to organizations in more hands on activities. With this in mind, I started looking for organizations that needed physical, ground floor assistance. Fortunately, I live in a city with several agencies that focus exactly on this type of volunteer work. Unfortunately, I know many of the people involved in these agencies and I want to keep my distance if possible. I found one agency that I’ve never worked with before and set up an appointment to chat.

During the appointment, I provided a lot of information on what was going on right now, but expressed my desire to get involved and lend a hand where I could. They were very helpful and set me up with an organization that helps with poverty stricken individuals. This is the cause that I care about the most and was happy to find something that was geared towards it.

At the time of this posting, I’ve actually volunteered for over 50 hours now and its made me feel a little more human, and less disgusted at myself. I’ve been talking directly to those in poverty, to those who are undereducated, who were born into shit circumstances, and have no one to rely on but themselves, and the organizations that try to help. This type of work is incredibly rewarding and I can physically see the changes that are happening as a result of my actions. Immersing myself in this environment reminded me exactly why poverty has been an issue I’ve always cared about. No matter what your situation is, there is always someone who cares. It is reassuring. Even in my darkest hours.

Although I am working full time now, I have decided that I will continue to volunteer my time in this hands on fashion. It keeps me humble and connected to true charity and goodness, rather than seeing it all as just a numbers game and becoming desensitized to the causes. Hands on volunteering may be the only volunteering I ever get involved in again and I have no problem with that.

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