Monday, July 2, 2012

Community Involvement

We each have a responsibility to the next generation. ~ Deval Patrick
Community or civic involvement is very important to do and there are many benefits, both personal and for the community, that are realized by being active.  However, these days less and less people are getting involved.  Whether it is because they lack the time or the interest, people are less likely to “work for free” no matter what the cause.  It seems as if this is not just an American phenomenon, as I recently read a blog from a mom in Australia who said the same thing. She remarked that we are turning into a ‘what’s in it for me’ society.

The company that I work for offers a volunteer day off as a way to foster community involvement in its workers.  I don’t take advantage as for the last 20 years I have volunteered and are currently active in several groups.  I guess being involved like that I wonder why others are not.  It offers a great sense of self satisfaction and the skills learned from working with others can help in my daily job.  Plus there is the networking aspect of it where you get to meet a lot of people that you might not have gotten to meet otherwise.

But the most disturbing thing about what is happening is that our future generations will likely suffer as a result.  Non-profit organizations that serve the needy, the hungry, the disabled, and so many other deserving individuals will surely suffer as a result.  They don’t have the money to pay for staff and the money they do raise has to go directly into the programs they are running.  We need to find a way to incentivize the aspect of community involvement without offering monetary or tangible gains.  Until people realize that doing good for others does yourself a lot of good especially with feeling good mentally, less and less people will be willing to do something for nothing.

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