There are a number of people who apologize for only being able to volunteer one or two hours a week. Some of them do not feel like they can make a difference in such a short time. Some even avoid volunteering because they consider their potential contribution a waste of time. Does this describe you?
This way of thinking could not be further from the truth! Making a difference does not have to take a significant amount of time. You can make a change in someone's life and in the world by volunteering the time you have available.
Let me prove it to you by walking you through a short exercise. It will only take you a few minutes to do this exercise, but it will be worth it.
- Make a list of every person who had a positive impact on you. Think back as far as you can remember. Do not forget about your friends and family who encouraged you by something they said, leaders and teachers who taught you a critical skill, mentors who asked you thought-provoking questions and others who helped you during a difficult time in your life.
- Once your list is complete, write down the amount of time it took each of them to make their life changing contribution. The times may range from several years to only a few minutes.
- Look through your list and select those items where people helped or encouraged you in a short amount of time.
What did you discover from this exercise? You probably uncovered memories of several individuals who contributed to your life in a positive way. Many of them made their mark on your life because they cared. Also, some of their actions took less time than you are able to devote to volunteering. If others could do it for you, you can do it for others!
It is now up to you. Do not let excuses keep you from experiencing the tremendous benefits of being a volunteer. Discover a great volunteer opportunity and get involved. There are many volunteer opportunities that can use your unique passions, experiences and talents. Review the list you created earlier and consider the ways others made a positive impact on you in a short time. You could do the same for someone else. Use whatever available time you have to make a difference.
There is someone in this world who is waiting for you to donate whatever time you can afford to make his or her life a little bit better. Do not let your thoughts of wanting to have more time keep you from giving to that person today.