Volunteering is Selfish

Soup kitchen

Yesterday I gave four hours of my time to a local kitchen that serves the needy and homeless. During that time, I found myself standing at a counter, de-boning pieces of previously-cooked chicken (these kitchens know that NO FOOD SHOULD GO TO WASTE), preparing enormous cuts of donated corned beef, and chopping pound after pound of red potatoes.

I stood for 4 hours, infusing every single piece of food I handled with love, hoping everything consumed would bring that much love to the recipient. Everybody I met in the kitchen was there to make a difference, helping other humans. Those humans would be unseen by us. We weren’t serving. We were behind large double doors, strangers standing side-by-side, working hard to bring sustenance to those in need. We weren’t getting the instant gratification of seeing a smile of thanks from a mother and her hungry children. We also weren’t the recipient of those who lack gratitude for what’s being offered. Those are the people who need that love the most; they no longer see the grace in a meal made from the heart. Luckily, I hear there are very few of them when compared to those who receive their meals with thanks.

With that love impressed in my work, I also felt overwhelming gratitude for being allowed the opportunity to quietly, but effectively help others. I was beaming when I left the kitchen, and the smile didn’t leave my face all day. I, like so many more before me, realize that time spent creating something good for another, is time well-spent.

I woke up achy from yesterday’s work, but it’s a “good ache.” I know it’s from doing something right. It’s right by every human I’m connected to, and in that vein, right by me. Pretty selfish, huh?

Volunteers are needed for all kinds of compassionate things which include the welfare of people, animals and nature. Do something for yourself. Check out volunteer opportunities in your area, or just watch more cat videos for the betterment of society.

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