Hand-in hand: Volunteering and Personality Development
Volunteers- Free gifts to the community
Volunteering is any compassionate activity done for an individual, community or the country. It can be as simple as helping out our friends and family on daily basis, to giving your spirit-full services on a larger scale. For volunteering, Enthusiasm and Positivity is all you need.
It all started when I was in secondary school. I was engaged in student affairs as the president of UNESCO club, a school platform that brings students together to discuss school matters and the pressing and current issues concerning them. After secondary school, I started volunteering within non-governmental organizations. It was in this moment that I began to understand a lot about community development. I was involved in projects and activities relating to peace, human rights, environment and HIV/AIDS. It was a great pleasure for me to contribute to the development of my community through volunteering because the impact was visible- says Bertheline Nina, member of the UN Global Education First Youth Advocacy Group
Volunteering offers indispensable help to the people in need, as well as the community, but the benefits can be even greater for the one volunteering. The right compeer can help you to find your knuckleballers, connect with different communities, grasp and master new skills, and even advance your career. A lot of colleges and Universities give handsome importance to these activities in your resume. Even if you have the degree from the best school, college or university in the world, it is not enough because what matters most is your skills, competence, talent as well as YOU as a person. The best way to bring to light who you are in order to integrate yourself in the society is to volunteer. It does not only facilitate you to offer your services, but to master and unearth new things and improve your skills. One secret in volunteer work is to avoid thinking about money because that is where the problem is. Young ones expect to be paid as they are volunteering.
These days, volunteering has gained a lot of popularity, and there are tons of organizations, Government and Private, Profit and Non- profit operating on a large horizon of Capital scales. I personally know a lot of people who began their volunteering work on a weekly basis, and ended up making their own companies out of it by gathering the like-hearted people with similar purpose of service in their hearts.
“ I used to volunteer taking the left over food after various weddings,events and functions and used to distribute that food in slum areas with a bunch of my friends during my vacation after 12th standard. ” Says Prinkit Patel, founder of CVC, Change Vadodara Campaign. For him, it initially began as an activity to do in his free time, but led him to realize his aim and purpose in life. Today, Prinkit runs his own founded company, and has been working for this noble cause since last 5 years.
Why volunteering and personality development go hand in hand?
Volunteering evolves you as a person, it helps cater to those innate skills which otherwise can’t be developed just by reading good books and becoming academicians. It gives you the opportunity to make use of important skills used in the workplace, such as teamwork, communication, problem solving, project planning, task management, and organization.
“ I remember my parents used to take us (me, my sister, and my friends) to blind school during my school years to celebrate my birthday there with them. It was a tradition at our house, to celebrate everyones’ birthdays in our family, along with our closest friends amongst the kids there.”
Giving to others can also help preserve and enrich your mental and physical health. It can lessen stress, fight against depression, keep you mentally vivifying, and provide a sense of purpose. While it’s true that the more you volunteer, the more benefits you’ll experience, volunteering doesn’t have to involve a long-term commitment or take a huge amount of time out of your busy day. Giving in even simplest of ways can help those in need and improve your health and happiness. When you give, you feel good, and when you feel good, your mind and body, which are inter-communicating with each other, lead to complete physical well-being too. It helps one improve on their social and relationship skills, shows Empathy within a person, makes you feel a sense of gratitude for all that you have. When you serve those less privileged than you, it opens your minds to new ways to deal with the problems you have in your life.
“ Our minds are like parachutes, they only work when they’re open”
Personality involves not only inborn traits but also the development of cognitive and behavioral patterns that influence how people think and act. Temperament is a key part of the personality that is determined by inherited traits. Character is an aspect of personality influenced by experience that continues to grow and change throughout life. Personality continues to evolve over time and respond to the influences and experiences of life.
The Trait Theory (given by Gordon Willard Allport (November 11, 1897 — October 9, 1967),an American psychologist) of personality is one of the main theories in the study of personality. According to this theory, traits make up personality. Traits can be described as patterns of behavior, thought, or emotion.
Let’s view the traits that one generally looks for during personality development, and see how volunteering helps with inculcating and developing those.
1. Self esteem: We generally tend to dwell into questioning ourselves too brutally which ultimately gives us a false sense of failure. Helping out the needy, helps restore that and give a general sense of accomplishment which uplifts our mood and helps us work on the solutions more, rather than dwelling into the spiral of problems.
2. Acceptance: We have a mental frame of perfection as to how world around us should be, and when that is not met, we get angry and agitated. Being around those who’re the victims of life’s atrocities makes you accept the flaws and work in harmony with them to bring about a positive change.
3. Improves communication skills: While interacting with people from various walks and platforms of life, you need to find different ways to communicate with them, to convince them and to assure them of your services.
4. Organization skills and team work.
5. You learn to let go: Certain things in life aren’t fair, but there’s nothing that you can do about it. On the other hand, after giving your time and services, you need to let go off the attachment, and move on with life.
6. Patience: When a volunteer understands that cultural attitudes may differ from what they follow at home, patience is the key to not let those circumstances frustrate you, and instead push you to find ways to bridge the gap.
7. Confidence: Being able to help another fellow human gives an innate sense of accomplishment which aids in boosting confidence.
8. Selflessness: In a world where most people put themselves first, volunteering is an opportunity to put others first. It’s important to see what everyone else needs, and the best feeling in the world is when you know you have helped someone.
9. Compassion and Empathy: No matter where you volunteer, there are always going to be times where you will get disappointed. Whether it is talking to a person or doing a task- think of the situation the other person is in, or how much it means for the people you volunteer for that the task to get done.
Here’s a list of simple volunteering activities to begin with-
· Distribute food packets in nearby slums
· Spend some time at old age home
· Donate some notebooks, pencils,erasers to a nearby NGO (Non Government Organization) or a Blind school, or any such similar institutions or areas around you. You could also donate some stuff to the kids of the cleaning lady or maid that would come to your place.
· Read books to visually impaired
· Help deliver meals and gifts to patients at a nearby local hospital
· Ask for the left over food restaurants, weddings, parties and distribute it in the nearby slum areas ( with the Corona-virus pandemic, put this on hold for now)
· Distribute your unused, old clothes ( of-course after making sure that they’re in decent condition)
· Deliver groceries, medicines to elderly couples living alone
· Take care of animals at animal shelter
· Adopt animal at a nearby zoo (My parents have adopted lovely little Love birds at the Kamatibaug, Vadodara)
· Plant trees
· Clean up the nearby public park
· Volunteer at nearby NGO. It is like freelancing volunteering services
· Take homeless kids on an outing
· Donate books to local library
If you aren’t currently volunteering — three out of four of us aren’t — there are many online resources to help you find an opportunity. Committing even as little as one hour a week can have a profound benefit on your own life, and the organizations that rely on such help will be able to thrive. Check out the internet for various organizations, the work they do, see what interests you or go directly to an organization you support and ask what you can do. You’ll get more back than you ever imagined.
“ Life’s more persistent question is- What are you doing for others?”
Do things in your style, it adds a Zing to your personality!