I'm tired. Between routine duties, I sorted through almost 2,000 juice pouches. ??? I mentor the Bridgewater-Raritan FIRST Team 303 Panther Robotics. No, I don't help with the build, even if it looks like fun. I am the Public Relations, Chairman's Award and Green Initiatives mentor. Yep, three different sub-teams. The juice pouches are collected under our Green Initiatives from district schools and shipped to Terracycle, Inc., in Princeton, which recycles them into many different things. It's part of the team philosophy- think green, do green. In return, the team gets a donation. So why am I tired? Well, the juice pouches have to be picked up from the schools, emptied of straws and excess juice (not everyone finishes their juice! I'm gonna tell their moms.), counted, bagged and shipped. Since team members are in school, working on the robot for the next championship, or working on other projects, I do the pouches.
I don't mind, it's just that there are so many other things to do. The public relations and presentation for the Chairman's Award, the highest honor that FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology) gives out takes a lot of time, guiding the students, checking on projects that need to be okayed, finished, started, etc. Plus, I play in the bell choir at my church- or, sometimes all three bell choirs, if the younger kids need some backup. Then, there's the making meals and helping out sick friends, Career Day at the high school, judging stories for a contest, and other activities I don't want to bore you with, or make it seem like I'm bucking for sainthood; I have too much devil in me to qualify. Plus, there are plenty of people who do waaaaaay more than me.
My philosophy is everyone should do something that makes a difference, even if it's simply collecting old towels and blankets for the animal shelter, or a $10 check to relief agencies to help out victim's of Japan's triple earthquake/tsunami/nuclear meltdown tragedy. Sure, it's nice for Bill and Melinda Gates to give away all their money (after the kids' trust funds) but how hard is to write a check for something you won't miss? How disconnected is that?
Before I start to sound all preachy, let me say that I do this out of obligation. No, Mom doesn't make me do good deeds, nor do I have anything to feel guilty about because I don't cause disasters or want political favor or whatever. I volunteer for organizations and causes because I like the way I feel when I do. Kind of like Bill Murray in Scrooged. Roughly paraphrased he said that once you reach out to people, you feel good and you're gonna want that feeling over and over. I'm obligated to continue to volunteer for my own selfish want of having that good feeling. And it's part of being human- recognizing that we're all interconnected and dependent. If you're hiking and someone needs a hand up over a large boulder, you're going reach down, right? I feel obligated to be a better person, reach out to others and DO.
You can be sure I'm not under the delusion that all my little acts of kindness, in the scheme of the universe, the world, the nation, the town, or even in a person's life, will amount to much. But it means something to me, that on the craggy trail of life, I can ease the way for someone, who in turn, may help the next person. Reminds me of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, where Gandalf talks about help unlooked for. Ya just never know.
So get off your duff, commit to doing; where ever your passion, your interest, your inclination or your conscience lead. Gotta go; I volunteered to give a presentation at a writer's conference and it won't write itself.