Insider View: A first- person account
Unselfish and noble actions are the most radiant pages in the biography of souls
I came to know a fact in my life that nobody feels happier than a person who tries to lighten the burden of another. I learnt this when I joined a volunteering organization in Bangalore. The intention behind it was not making name, or fame. The intention was very simple, to help others. It is a counselling organization which does not charge anything from those who seek its services.
My learning was adding to my knowledge everyday over there. The terms which I had often read in my textbooks like empathy became something which I learnt to practically use. In that centre, one of my first learning was that I started becoming more observant of my thoughts while I was listening to others. We often become judgemental and jump to conclusions when somebody tells us their problems. I found out that I have to learn to think about the issues without getting caught in my own highly personal and at times biased perspective. Every time I used to visit that centre, I would bring some learning from there.
I learnt not just through the process of volunteering, but also through interactions with other volunteers who were very senior to me. They would give examples which were easy to catch and improved my thinking power so much. I started using those examples in my own life.
As an example, I was a person who used to lose temper very easily. After working for a few months in this organization I felt that my anger has come down gradually and I actually felt it at many instances.
I used to feel charged and energized after coming back from there…so much so, that I tried that I don’t take a break, because I liked going there. That feeling came when I used to see someone going away happily from our centre. I would pat and say to myself that I have made a difference to someone’s life today.
I learnt that we are not there to solve other persons’ problems but to make them realise their capabilities of dealing with it themselves. Many a times, I tried doing it to myself. When I encounter a problem, I try to find the solution from within… and believe me, I get the best answer. The volunteering experience also helped me to adjust in my new relationships very easily.
When I lost my mother, the only way I came out from my sadness was going to the centre regularly. Discussing about my sadness with my co-workers used to make me feel lighter. And then I realised how it actually feels when you have a listening ear. The heaviness of your heart goes away if someone is there to listen unconditionally to you. That’s how it feels to the other person when we give our services to them without asking anything in return. That gesture of being able to help someone unconditionally and also learning from it makes me very happy.
My experience as a volunteer has helped me gain confidence in doing something new which has had a positive impact on me.
Volunteering is an investment where you get back more than what you give. It can make you feel part of something outside the circle of your family & friends. I think, it not only has positive benefits on the person or community receiving services, but also on the volunteer because it can improve the overall quality of life and health of those who donate their time and energy for the betterment of society.
*Name changed to protect the identity of the persons concerned.