Sunday, September 27, 2009

My Conundrum & Mission

Something that has been on my mind for some years is volunteering and or giving back. It's sad that at this point in my life, I haven't done much. Why? Well I guess, like most, it's because I've been selfish; to some extent. It's all about gimme gimme. I've been blessed with living a comfortable life, financially. I have what I want and don't need much. With that I've given to charity, but that's it. I guess I've been one of those that fixes everything with money. To some extent I feel guilty, but not completely.

The only volunteering I've done, that I can recall, is working the phones at KCRW, and that came about a couple years ago when I was ill. At that point in my life I realized that my life was meaningless. I had nothing to feel good about. Sure I had been traveling, got a degree, partied a lot, hung out with friends, etc.; but I had reached a point in my life in which I felt empty. If I died now, I would have nothing to account for or feel good about. I was in a deep void that I had to get out of quickly.

I recall this one night, driving on Del Mar in Pasadena with BFF2 (me and my vivid recollections, LoL), and listening to Jason Bentley on KCRW. He started talking about the Winter Pledge drive and how they needed volunteers. I said to BFF2, you know, I heard about this some nights ago and thought that I might want to do this. Would you want to do it with me? And she said yeah and that she'd been wanting to do it, too. I was happy and told her that about the void I had been feeling lately, my other issues and that I wanted to do something productive in which I got nothing in return.

I was ecstatic and we signed up for 2 days and I felt great. I've been volunteering ever since, but lately have felt that it wasn't enough. I've been wanting to volunteer at the L.A. Food Regional Bank, but haven't gone because no one in my family wants to go. They are all lazy as me because we have to be there by 8:30am on a Saturday morning; it's awful. I am willing to sacrifice some sleep, but they don't want to. I can go by myself, but would rather have some company and feel great together.

The sad thing is that I come from a hardcore Catholic family that doesn't live an exemplified "Christian life." It's so contradictory, hypocritical and sad. I wasn't raised on giving back to others. Sure I learned all that at parochial school, but my family never practiced that. It's odd, but true. When I realized, at an early age, that my family was weird and "blah," I strived to be different and I didn't want to be part of the stupid cycle.

Like I said I have done and accomplished many things that my family (immediate, cousins, etc) hasn't, but I want to do more. A couple of nights ago, I finally decided to volunteer for Burrito Project Silverlake and it was great yet humbling. I wished I'd done this before. I think the people that organize this (Jenny & Tony) are great. I was quite impressed and will do it again. I'm gonna slowly recruit friends to do this because the need is there. The current economic crisis has really worsened the homeless numbers. It was sad to see the number of homeless in DTLA. And that makes me wonder how bad it is in every city throughout the nation.

Final thoughts: will make it my mission to help others through volunteering and donations. The purpose of this post is not to receive a pat on the back or to receive a high five. I don't believe in glorification and it defeats the purpose. I like to do things quietly, but I have to make some noise to inform and have others join the cause. If I recall, the Bible mentions that we should do good deeds and not expect anything in return (including recognition & glorification). So that is my motto. Peace out!

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