Tuesday, October 7, 2008

For the Greater Good?

I just got back from lunch with a former co-worker who quit her job here at Giant Ass Bank and went to Ghana on a volunteer mission trip for 5 months. She just returned to the states, had amazing stories to tell, and is inspiring as hell.

I realize that I have a family and a life that moves a thousand miles a minute in every different direction, and that my choices for volunteerism may be limited. But still... seeing my friend made me wonder if I'm doing the right kinds of things with my life.

I am raising a family, and I have respectful, mostly well-mannered children. That's the most important job in the world for me. But couldn't I do more meaningful things with my life, and in the process teach my children the importance of philanthropy and pursuing activities that have true meaning?

I support the United Way campaigns by donating money with each paycheck. I tithe at church and know that some of that is helping those in need. But that's not very much in the grand scheme of things. Working in a cube all day for Giant Ass Bank isn't helping out my community. Sure, it's a great, flexible job that I'm lucky to have in today's economic environment. With each dismal report on the economy, especially in the financial sector, I'm extremely thankful to have my job. But what if I could do something that helped others and paid the bills?

I might not be in the position to do what my friend did and take off for Africa for five months, but I want to do something more. Maybe it's not a career change, I might just need to find a cause and help support it. I just don't know what it is yet.

Stay tuned.

6 comments:

Barb said...

Not everyone can do what your friend did, and some times the best you can do is support those that can.

Jenster said...

You ARE making a difference. You make a difference in your children. You make a difference at your church with your tithe. You make a difference at your job just by being you. All this is what season you're in right now. Some day you're kids will be grown and gone and then you'll be in a different season - a different position to do something else maybe.

Jenster said...

YIKES! Obviously passion and grammar are mutually exclusive for me!! Sorry. :o)

WebGal said...

I can't wait to talk to her too! I'm sure her stories are amazing and I'll feel exactly like you do...

krobzoo said...

I agree with Jenster. I think alot of us may have to wait to do alot of volunteering until we are older and the kids are out of the house. I am trying to make a point to get involved with some things where the kids can be involved too, so they learn.

I do know people who seem to be able to work, raise kids, be PTA president, read to the kindergarten classes, and volunteer at EVERY thing I go to -- they have a secret twin though I think...

Anonymous said...

Your family is your mission. Raising children that will be responsible and sensative to the world, it is a parent's greatest mission. EVERY DAY you are teaching them responsiblity in all aspects of life, how to treat their children, how to be wife or what to want in a wife, and countless of other things. I know countless people who gave themselves to other things while their children where still under their care...they gave themselves to work, social groups, charities, and all kinds of stuff (not one of them bad in their own right)...later, when their kids were grown and making bad life choices...they wish they could have gone back and given more of themselves to their kids...I mean when is enough ever enough when it comes to raising a family. There will be a time and place for your pursuit of helping mankind outside of your own little circle. Until then...serve 1 day a month in a soup kitchen, join an adult literacy campaign as a teacher, take that weekend or week long mission trip every other year...BUT whatever you do...let your kids hear every experience...involve them when you can. Leave your heart to help on to your kids, so you will still be serving long after you are gone. It is called "Legacy"...I am a child of parents who believed in serving God first, Family second, others Third, and themselves last...It impacted me GREATLY and inspired me to serve my own causes (but never above family which means I can't leave home for 5 months or 5 days unless they come with me)...it now impacts my kids who LOVE to serve others (wow, seeing our kids as unselfish in today's world). So my parents (one who is dead) still are exponentially affecting the world by following their simple priority plan...God First, Family Second, Others Third, Self Last (Funny thing nothing brings more self worth than following this plan that puts self last)

btw, what a great spirit you have...and i hope all works out