10 Bad Reasons to Become a Volunteer or Why Selfishness Has No Place in Volunteering

prideMy intent is not blame people for bad intentions when they volunteer but to have people think about why they volunteer and change their perspective on what they are doing. While too many people are volunteering for the wrong reasons if we think about and reevaluate our reasons we can become better volunteers

Here are  10 bad reasons to become a volunteer

1. To show how good a person I am.
2. To practice my leadership skills
3. To add skills to my CV (resume)
4. Because the volunteers I have seen aren’t doing a good Job
5. Because it is my civic duty to volunteer
6. Because all my friends do
7. Because it makes me a better person
8. Because my faith says I have to
9. Because the court said I have to do community service
10. Because my Mom or Dad did.

While many of the bad reasons to volunteer above look like really good reasons to volunteer a good number of them will make you a bad volunteer.

Volunteering is all about commitment to service and as you can see many of the reasons above are totally unrelated to commitment.

Let’s look at each one individually.

1. To show how good a person I am.

This is a reason that we all use but don’t admit to. No one wants to be seen as an unconcerned person and volunteering, whether it be with a charity or with a church or faith group, is one way to show how concerned and how kind we are. The problem here is charity or service is best done to benefit the community and the reward should be how you feel after doing it. You don’t need anyone to tell you that you did something good. You should feel that inside, and that is your reward. This is true of many of the 10 ten reason above. If you are volunteering to benefit you, you are volunteering for the wrong reason. This does not mean you should stop but you should adjust your thinking and make your volunteering for others first. Try doing something for others and keep your name out of the outcome. Work for a soup kitchen but ask the organization not to publish your name as a volunteer and when they say thank-you say “No, thank you” because your reward should be the feeling you get from knowing you did something good.

If you can’t volunteer without wanting people to know about it you are being selfish. Sure if you get known for your work in the community that is fine and no crime, but if that is your reason you are doing it for the wrong reason. Selfishness has no place in volunteering. You should volunteer because you know it is right to do so not for any expectation of reward, even if the reward is recognition. More often than not when I get a citation or an award I feel I don’t deserve it. People tell me this is the wring response but sorry they are wrong this is exactly how you should feel. Why because there are always better people out there. There are always more things you can do and my reward should be knowing I did my best to do the right thing not the plaque on the wall or the pin or the certificate.  I did not know my Uncle Vern was a Cub scout leader until his name appeared in the Scouting life magazine obituaries.  I also did not know that he stayed on as a Cub leader when his kids were well into their 30s and 40s. That is the way to volunteer, to do it with advertising it to do it just because it is the right thing to do.

2. To practice my leadership skills

While there is nothing wrong with taking a leadership role in an organization and it is important that people that have natural leadership tendencies will put them to good use this should not be your reason to volunteer. Why? Because most volunteer groups work as a team. The best volunteer organizations are democratic in nature. The best attitude to come into volunteering is how can I contribute to the group. Again to come in assuming that you will take control as you are a natural leader is a mistake. Most volunteer organizations will recognise natural leadership and you very well might be promoted to a leadership role but if you don’t then to get upset is another selfish response. If you don’t feel your leadership abilities are being used then you have the right to leave, and if you think that you should be the one in charge you need to consider that you might again be volunteering for selfish reasons and as I mentioned selfishness has no place in volunteering.

3. To add skills to my CV (resume)

I won’t spend a lot of time on this because again it is related to what I have just said. Volunteering does ad skills to your CV and yes I list some of my volunteering on my CV. However this is a benefit of volunteering and definitely should never be the reason you volunteer. I had one cub scout that never sewed his badges on his sash but he had them all. I also had another that kept trying to get me to give him new badges that he hadn’t quite earned. The one I respected was the one that didn’t find the badges themselves important but put out the effort to earn them.

4.Because the volunteers I have seen aren’t doing a good Job

This actually can be a good reason to volunteer BUT it depends on the person using it. Arrogance is a deadly sin in volunteering. Remember that for every volunteer you criticise there will be 10 people like you ready to criticise your volunteer work. That said each and every person that volunteers even for bad reasons like we have been talking about here is better than those that won’t volunteer for selfish reasons. In volunteering you must respect the volunteers you work with or those that came before if you don’t then you need to remember there will be people just like you looking back at the “Bad Job” you did. Respect is crucial in volunteering.

5. Because it is my civic duty to volunteer

This one I disagree with fully there should be no civic duty to volunteer. Why because if your heart isn’t in it if you are doing it because you are told you must you might as well be a machine programmed to do good. Volunteering must be done because you WANT to do it not because you feel you must do it. I know I have to tend my yard to mow the lawn pull the weeds this will keep the neighbours from complaining. That said If I want my neighbourhood to look good I will go one step farther I will pull the weeds mow the lawn plant flowers paint the fence and sweep the walk. Duty only takes you so far it is a desire to make things better that makes you exceed your capabilities.

6. Because all my friends do

The simple answer to this one is that riding on the good intentions of your friends is just wrong. While it is nice to socialise as a volunteer this is a benefit of volunteering not a reason to volunteer. Sure go ahead but also keep in mind that in order to be a good volunteer you need to go beyond just doing it because your friends are. I have seen to many people quit a group once their friends leave and to me this just shows that you really did not care about the organization you were volunteering for.

7. Because it makes me a better person

This is true but again it is a reward not a reason. I keep saying this but volunteering should be to benefit others not our selves.

8. Because my faith says I have to

Most faiths have some edict that compels the faithful to do acts of kindness. The problem is the rule should not be the reason. In the Christian faith one of the highest callings is to act selflessly like Christ. To give everything with out expectation of reward. In this faith the reason to volunteer or to give to the poor and help others is because you are to become like Christ to be selfless. The reason you should do as your faith tells you is because you believe in it because you know that helping others is right, not simply because you are told to.

9. Because the court said I have to do community service

First of all people call this volunteering I don’t , and people in this situation are actually not volunteers and can drag down a volunteer group. This is something I have always disagreed with while I think some people benefit from being forced to do community service in general it is a waste of time. The Lions Club I volunteered for had one good and on bad experience with community service kids. One kid that had to do community service was just a bad kid he was not sorry for what he did he did the bare minimum of work and in the end came back one night and robbed the place. The other kid we had felt sorry for what he did (stole his moms car) he did a good job and I hired him for other jobs. The thing is community service does not make a bad kid a good kid it just stops good kids from getting worse. Most times by the time kids or adults get to the point of being given community service, to a large degree they are beyond the point were it will actually help them.

10. Because my Mom or Dad did.

This one sounds good but if you are doing volunteer work because you believe in the values of community service that your parents did then fine, but if is to please them then you are missing what they tried to teach you.


Is the world getting Better. NO.

This will be a quick posting. I want to ask everyone one question.

The question I have been asking myself recently has been the title of this posting. Is the world getting better. As we approach the new year I keep thinking how hard it will be to raise children in a world that has little money too many guns and not enough tolerance.

I am not naive enough to think that guns are going away just because the US president wants them to. Austerity measures are driving us farther into debt and if I hear another anti-Muslim tirade from some right wing idiot I am going to go burn a copy of Ayn Rands The Fountainhead on the Parliament lawn.

Anyone have any concrete suggestions on how we can move from intolerance to tolerance hate to love and get rid of the childish love of hunting that seems to be prevalent throughout North America?

What is so damn fun about killing things?

Happy New Year.

Samaritan Medicare vs Not My Brother’s Keeper

My Wife and I were across the border in New york last weekend (Lake Placid). The palce is absolutely Beautiful, but would I live there HELL NO.

Because they don’t have Medicare or social assistance you can rely on.  The issue is one that the current administration is trying to fix. The problem is there are a large number of rightwing Bible quoting Republicans that think that socialist ideas like Medicare will go against thier values the values they got from the Bible.

You know what that is?


Plain and simple nonsense.  Here is what Jesus said about Medicare and socialism.

Luke 10: 30-37

 30In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two silver coins[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ 36“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”   Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Socialism means society is responsible for those that can’t help themselves. If you don’t see that in the parable,  you’re blind.  What the Samaritan did was akin to Medicare, and no amount of rationalizing that away will work.

We tend to think that we are not our Brothers Keeper, it is his own obligation to pay for his medical care and his employment insurance.

But who was the first to feel Gods wrath?  Cain and his first plea was “am I my brothers keeper.” (Genesis4:10)

The Answer is both socially and Biblically YES.

Rednecks, Violence, Pacifism, Rationalism and Christianity

Or what I learned from a JERK in a truck

The problem with life lessons is being able to see the lesson in the situation.One day I was turning right out of a parking area and there was a truck to my left so I could not see on coming traffic. The jerk behind me thought that my caution was slowness so he kept pounding on his horn. I was thinking sorry jerk but I don’t risk my life for rednecks in pick-ups (especially those with attitudes). So I flung him the bird (gave him the finger) and drove away when it was safe to do so. Yes I tend to react with emotion first, this is not wise when you consider I am a pacifist. This Jack Ass then follows me for three blocks and pulls in behind me when I go to stop. He says “if you give some one the finger you should be ready to back it up, with action” I tell him my side of the story that I am not about to risk my ass for his redneck carcass (not in those words) especially not violent rednecks like him. I also tell him that I am about as likely to fight him over this trivial spat as I am to have monkeys fly out of my butt. Personally I wish he would take more dumb risks as it would seem only a tough lesson would shake him into realization that turning into traffic with out seeing it would be STUPID. The big problem is that this jerk was threatening to beat the crap out of me with his 7 year old son in the cab of his truck. Oh Yeah Teach them early that violence works, so they can grow up to be thugs and wife abusers. (If violence was the by-product of insults then parliament would need referees and ropes around it.) I was ignoring his threats for two reasons, one I try not to fight with some one that has biceps bigger than my thighs, and two if he attempted to follow me and strike me (there were spectators) I could have his ass thrown in Jail and that would feel soooo good. However the service guy at the car dealer came running out to tell this redneck that he had just called the police and the jerk left without incident. Damn I was looking forward to charging him with assault. I grew up in a pacifist household my mother was very much against fighting, guns and violence of any sort, so I learned to walk away or take a beating and not cry out when bullied. There is very little pleasure in beating on some one if they don’t fight back, and if they don’t cry or cower. But not fighting back works, because even a bully does not want to look like a bully. You don’t look cool if the guy you’re bullying just stands there. As for the guy that is being attacked, the best thing to keep in mind is while pain is transient and unavoidable, but integrity is worth the pain. The hardest part is to take the pain without crying out. I can’t say that I never fight back, to do so is a natural animal reaction (we are animals). To not fight however is what raises us above the level of animals. We have a fight or flight urge it is built into us genetically. To raise above our animal nature it what distinguishes us from animals. There is no natural instinct that tells us to stand up and take abuse. Where do we learn such contrary behaviour? Well there are a number of possibilities, but two are the most evident. rationalism allows us to make decisions contrary to animal instinct it is logical to assume that if we don’t respond to violence with violence there will be less violence, and religion often teaches us that we are above animal behaviour.

From a Christian perspective we follow the biblical edict (or we should) that says;

Romans 12:19-21
Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Now contrary to the direct image of God as a smiter of sinners, I take this verse to mean that those that commit evil will not be rewarded but rather they will overcome by a good society. They over time as man evolves socially will cease to be. In other words evil will be overcome by good in Gods time.

Sarah Palin Strikes Again – Drilling for Oil in a Wildlife Refuge is a Good Idea.


Welcome to Alaska

Sarah Palin was back in the news the other day, in an op-ed piece for the Washington Post entitled The ‘Cap And Tax’ Dead End Palin criticises Obama’s cap-and-trade energy plan which she refers to as a cap-and-tax energy plan.  What I find hilarious though is Palin knows were her critics will come from she begins by writing;” So, at risk of disappointing the chattering class, let me make clear what is foremost on my mind and where my focus will be: I am deeply concerned about President Obama’s cap-and-trade energy plan, and I believe it is an enormous threat to our economy.” For those that don’t know the reference to the Chattering class is a stab at the liberal elite, if those really exist in the US after emerges from the Bush of Republicanism (pardon the Pun).

By Wikipedia definition:

The chattering classes is a generally derogatory term often used by pundits and political commentators to refer to a politically active, socially concerned and highly educated section of the “metropolitan middle class,” especially those with political, media, and academic connections. It is sometimes used to refer to a liberal elite, but its first use by British right wing polemicist Frank Johnson in 1980 appeared to include a wider range of pundits.

Personally I would love to be one of the Chattering Classes in the US (in reality it is more complimentary than derogatory in my books.)  At least I would not be in the same group (the Blithering class) as Palin  who says, “We have more desire and ability to protect the environment than any foreign nation from which we purchase energy today” and in the next sentence says “We can safely drill for U.S. oil offshore and in a tiny, 2,000-acre corner of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge if ever given the go-ahead by Washington bureaucrats.”

Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency: or Why Not to Become a Model

The other day I was watching a reality show entitled the Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency, on the Oxygen Network.

Why? Well some times I do really stupid things. It is an hour of my life that I really want back. I could have done something far more edifying, like shave my back , or compare the odor of my running shoes, anything but watch this thing. Oh well as I said earlier, sometimes I do stupid things.

In the episode I watched this botox injected (oh those ugly lips – which only look right forced into a smile which she rarely does) arrogant and ignorant woman that runs the agency, (Janice) and attempts to make you think that she has a brain and is some kind of modelling genius. That is the whole idea behind the show. IT FAILS.

Janice is a caricature of all that is wrong with modeling today. She makes rude comments about the model’s fat (WHAT FAT) she bullies her models and clients and thinks that because she is the modeling diva she can get away with it. What the heck was someone thinking when they put a camera in front of this clown. Well then clowns can be entertaining. I apologize to clowns.

Here is my biggest problem. In this episode she recruits a model from a restaurant and tries to make her into a model. In my books she corrupts her. Don’t get me wrong I am not one of those Christians that sees the devil in people I think the devil tends to let us screw ourselves up because we do it so well. Much as I hate Janice she is no Devil. If there is a Devil out there he/she is much smarter. One exercise she has her models do is to pose nude for a seniors painting class. Personally I don’t have a problem with nude modeling, total or partial, what I do have a problem with is that Janice threatens to fire two of her models for refusing to go totally nude.

These two models are members of Model4Jesus and they with some fellow models4jesus talk to Janice who tells them all if you are a model you have to pose nude it is a please the client industry. If you don’t pose naked “you are not a model.” She puts this dull-witted look on her face and says “I don’t get what is with these models and nudity.” She says “you do what the client wants.” Okay so what does that mean? You have to have no values as a model? The one male model says it would be an insult to his family, and Janice laughs at him. This means that there is very little difference between Ms Janice and a Madam or Pimp. She farms out beautiful people to clients that can request them to do whatever they want and the models can’t say NO how is this not, prostitution albeit on a lesser scale. They get nude but don’t screw the client, so Janice isn’t even a good madam.

The episode progresses and the ex-waitress, who objected to nudity, is coerced into doing a nude and highly erotic photo-shoot which Janice thinks is a triumph for the girl. I think that the poor woman has compromised her values for money and to a large extent it is Janice’s fault.

In the next episode of this dumb show Janice’s client asks her to participate in the shoot and Janice gets all snippy and mad as she claims not to be a model anymore why would someone want to look at an “OLD” person in a bathing suit. So far Janice has insulted anyone overweight and anyone with moral issues related to nudity and called anyone old, ugly. But the coup de gras is, she exposes herself as a hypocrite because she refuses to “do what the client wants” if it involves her. She has to be coerced into modelling, what happened to the idea you do what the client wants? Okay so now I have vented and wasted more of my time on Janice Dickinson, but I feel better for the exercise.

Welcome to the Land of the Shallow People.

Recently CTV ran an article on a dating services called Beautifulipeople.com. The service is controversial because it bans so called ugly people. They define ugly by voting on who is ugly. The whole thing is repulsive it reeks of Adolf Hiltler’s master race ideology. Most people would laugh at this service, but to laugh at it would be to belittle the fact that it is a symptom of a larger problem in society that is that we are devolving to more basic instinctual behaviour, when it comes to dating. If we decide our sexual partners based on looks we will be creating a race of pretty but stupid people. That said beauty is a product of personality and physical appearance anyone that decides on a person to date based on one side alone will likely get what they deserve, a person that is truly ugly. If all you are concerned with is who to jump tonight then this service is for you. Some have said humans are animals and this is just a product of instinctual behaviour, if this is true then we haven’t progressed much above the eat sleep and procreate level. In the past people like Greg Hodge where labelled as Dogs, this wasn’t a compliment. If you want to succeed you have to distance yourself from these guys. Just think what would happen if it was discovered that a politician was using this service? From the comments on the CTV article it is evident that using this service would place you in a category that no one with aspirations of any sort would want to be in. Being labelled one of the pretty people may seem like a good idea, but from a career point of view or a success point of view the words on your CV or the diplomas on your wall are of more value unless you’re a model. Remember money can buy you a new face a new body a new look, but your stuck with your personality and if it is ugly you’re ugly like it or not. The patrons of this service at least give Hollywood directors characters to make fun of. Welcome to the land of the shallow people.