Human Kindness is Limitless
Volunteers serve as a catalyst for change in society. It is important to provide a supportive environment to these selfless individuals and organizations so that they may extend a level of service that contributes to true nation-building.
The culture of volunteerism is inherent in many societies and acts as a supplement to state functions. It is an expression of the spirit of human compassion. Sometimes, however, it is also a response to the failure of the state apparatus that prompts people to form support networks with friends and families in times of crisis. Whatever the reason, societies at large benefit tremendously from selfless acts of devoted volunteers.
Volunteer work is defined as work motivated not by material gains or external pressures, but by free will. It may include assisting the physically, socially or mentally disadvantaged, running literacy programs and disease prevention and awareness campaigns by contributing time, skills and resources. A question that often comes to mind is how the spirit of compassion takes root in communities in the first place, and whether it is dependent on the level of affluence in societies. A cursory glance at some aspects of developed and underdevel- oped cultures around the world shows motivated people in all socio-economic groups, and sometimes more so in disadvantaged groups wherein the element of empathy plays an important role even though financial constraints may paralyze action. That is where international charity organizations play an important role by offering financial support to genuine humanitarian causes.
In the U.S., the spirit of volunteerism is inculcated from a very young age, starting with pre-school children. By involving their parents in educational and fun activities, the community takes a teach-by-example route. As we go higher up the educational ladder, this trend is further seen to be strengthened when colleges encourage ‘Gap-year’ volunteer work experiences at home and abroad. The idea is to work on a cause one feels passionate about and learn valuable life lessons along the way. Needless to say, these programs benefit recipient societies tremendously.
The possibilities are therefore endless when it comes to selecting one’s cause – from becoming a part of charities focusing on creating safe and supportive atmosphere for small children, to getting involved in pressing economic situations like provision of affordable housing for low-income families.
When choosing social volunteerism as their passion, American citizens are never short of opportunities in their multicultural and multiethnic society. Social volunteerism helps develop a healthy pluralistic culture that
The American spirit of volunteerism has greatly benefited
South Asian societies.