Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Feelings of Charity

(image thanks to

Why can’t one thing represent two things? Honestly, I don’t care if it’s half-full or half-empty. Half of whatever is in the container is just there. Let it be, people, let it beeee.

So I’m sitting here with absolutely nothing to write about. Yes, I’m typing an article even when I don’t even know what I’m saying. Oh, that's something. Doing things even when you’re not aware of what you’re doing.

It’s pointless to start on this topic, since I’m probably going to spurt out a bunch of crap anyway…but that’s what most people do in these situations, right? It’s not the greatest thing in the world. Doing things “for the sake of it” is pretty terrible, too. You can actually connect this to a percentage of high school students and volunteer work. Volunteering was meant to be an opportunity for the volunteer to dedicate some of their time (for nothing in return) towards doing a healthy act of charity for the community and society. NOT.

Sadly, there are students doing volunteer work “just for the sake of it”. They’d respond, “But it’s to help me look good for college!” Is that what volunteering has become? Just an extra to spiff up one’s college application? That sense of pride and accomplishment in the thing called “volunteering” has been stripped to glitter and stickers to polish a high school record.

As with most of the articles I’ve written, I’m a giant beast of a hypocrite behind each. I admit: I have done volunteer work for the “sake” of it. Previously, I didn’t have much thought for volunteering. It just felt like an obligation to waste my weekend hours away to help out with something I probably wouldn’t even support, but seemed like it was necessary to help me gain entry into a university of my choice. But, that’s changed.

It wasn’t until volunteering in a marathon did I get a drastic change in my viewpoint. My duty at the site was to hand out medals to the marathon finishers and later, pass out food and snacks to those that finished. For the first time ever, it felt like I was doing something really right in my life. The joy in the racer’s faces as I handed them their medal was astonishing. Mind you, it was raining hard, and there were extremely strong gusts of cold wind. By the end of the medal-giving, I was literally completely drenched from head to toe.

The food-giving gave me an opportunity to congratulate the racers face-to-face. They thanked us, the volunteers, for being there. But we really had to thank them for finishing the race in all that weather. Their thank-you’s were so gratifying. It felt great that they had such an appreciation for me, and in return, having such an appreciation towards them.

Just finding the inspiration to move on with the world.

-the clam.

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