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Reflection: Volunteering

Posted: 13th May 2024

Volunteering is a word whose meaning is well understood by modern-day culture; however, I believe that the attitude with which it is expected to be done is far less grounded.  Many say that by volunteering for a cause, be it a House charity event such as the pancake race, or at a local food bank, we are showing kindness to others in the hope that it will someday come back to us.  I do not believe that this should be the reason why we volunteer. We should volunteer because it is a right and good thing to do, as it says in the gospel of Luke, “Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.”  In other words, volunteer for others not so that you might get back the kindness you put in but instead volunteer selflessly putting other’s needs before your own expecting nothing in return.

Throughout history there have been many examples of selfless volunteering, perhaps the most famous being that of Mother Teresa.  Mother Teresa was a Catholic nun, born in Albania but with Indian citizenship.  She said of herself “as to my calling I belong entirely to the world.”  She did not live her life for her own happiness but she lived it in order to help others.  Mother Teresa found that the best way in which she could carry this out was by volunteering, not for just anyone but for the “poorest of the poor” and “the unloved and the uncared for”.  These people that she loved and cared for had no one else to help them, Mother Teresa would go to the slums every day, visit the families there, nurse the sick and care for the uncared for.  She did not do this in order that she might get something back out of it but in her own words she did it so that she might be “closer to God”.

This example of Mother Teresa’s selfless volunteering is one that I feel we should all aspire to, whilst it is unlikely that we ourselves could achieve all of what Mother Teresa achieved, we can most certainly try.  There are many opportunities to try to achieve some level of this in our very own school, we run trips to care homes, charity events such as the Christmas Fair and many others, all that benefit from as much help as possible.

Let me finish with a quote from Bill Clinton, “Volunteering is an act of heroism on a grand scale.  And it matters profoundly.  It does more than help people beat the odds; it changes the odds.”

Zac Warham
Senior Prefect

Categories: Reflection Senior News