“Making a Difference”

It’s All-the-Rage these days. “Making a Difference”. And—“giving back to the Community”.    But…..why?   Seriously. Why?

Exactly WHAT??–has “the Community”  TANGIBLY done, for you personally?  Did the “Community” buy you a Car?  Or pay for a years-worth of your College classes?  Or pay your Rent? or get you a Promotion? Did they pay your big medical bills?  No? Then why on earth do you feel any need to “give back” in the first place?

No one answers this.  They believe in “Service”, but they can’t (or won’t) tell you Why.

Most of the time they tell themselves they “made a difference” by volunteering, but 5 out of 6 times, what really happens is, they make sure that the next day, they are sure to wear the ribbon, badge or pin that they got for Volunteering, to work with them the next day. So YOU will be curious and ask them about it. They simply want the recognition and to feed their ego.  WOULD THEY have volunteered or “been of Service” IF they couldn’t tell anyone at all that they did it?  I truly wonder.

Think about this!  You, and your sweetie are stranded on some Island.  The weather is warm. There are Coconuts, Guavas, Papayas, Grapes, Oranges, Pineapples and Berries growing everywhere. There is even a fresh-water lake with Trout fish in it. But no snakes or wild animals.  The only problem is, there is only the two of you. There are no other people on this Island. S0…..you have NO ONE, to “be of service” to. NO ONE, to “give back” to.  No “Community” to “make a difference” in.   No community to “recognize your contribution”.  Just you & your sweetie. No one else to “serve”. Would Life be futile and meaningless? Would you kill yourself?  Could you still be happy on this Island?

Service is over-rated.

Service, is overrated! Serving humanity. “A life of service.”

” Giving Back to the Community. ”

So that we can “Make a difference”.

And feel “empowered”.

Funny how no one ever spells out exactly what “the Community” ever already did for them, personally, so that they would ever feel any need to “give back” in the first place!

Its not that doing good things for others is bad, I’m not saying that. But its overrated. Far too many people do it so they can tell others that they did. They want the recognition.

To show they “cared”. And “made a difference”. Now, they get to feel “empowered.” And they “gave back to the Community” more than you did. It goes too far. And “being of service” far too often becomes a matter of putting burdens and a sense of obligation and Duty onto others –and ourselves!

Far too many people “give back” so that they can wear the pin or ribbon they got for “serving” to work the next day, so folks will ask them what that is, and maybe then they can 1-upmanship you and say how they “cared” enough to “make a difference” and now they “feel empowered” .

How much Volunteerism would really get done if you couldn’t tell anyone that you did it?

And, just suppose, what if loving  and seeking God counted more than how many sandwiches you made at the Soup kitchen, or how many fundraisers you went to, or marathons you ran in?  What if understanding spiritual laws and developing yourself spiritually counts more in the afterlife than your last fundraiser?

In the Bible, Jesus says in Matthew, chapter 22, verse 37 that the greatest commandment is that “you shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, all of your soul and all of your mind.” In the very next verse,  verse 38, he adds that “This is the first and great commandment.”  After that, if you continue reading further, he goes on to say that the second  great commandment is “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

In my opinion, the problem today is that too many people are trying to do the 2nd commandment and ignoring the 1st.

While Charity and doing good works are commendable, i feel that “Making a Difference” is todays politically-correct all-the-rage FAD. Everyone-and-their-dog wants to “make a difference” –and while kindness is good,  “service” and  “giving back” can become a burden that robs you of  pleasure and Joy!

Don’t let it. Too much service can drain you emotionally. Some, is good. But watch out– it can become  “Duty gone wild”. And people really can get “compassion fatigue”. No matter how much you do, you can’t save the world.  It’s important to “feel alive!” , to have some Zest in life and to FEEL like smiling! Activists burn out. So do group organizers. Service becomes their “religion” or a 1-upmanship game with them to show everyone how much the “cared”.  But many of them don’t look happy. They may tell themselves they are doing the right thing, but when they are away from “the Cause”, how enthusiastic (about Life-in-general) are they? How often do they laugh? Very likely, not enough. I say: being a helpful coworker, yes. Being a sincere & reliable friend, yes. But being a service-fanatic or community-activist so you can “look good” around others, naaah.  What if you were stranded alone on a large island and couldn’t do anything for someone else? Would that make your Life meaningless?

I don’t always agree with Alan Watts, especially when he talks (in other videos) about “the Self”. Bleeaugh! But on some other things, I think he makes good points. But we all must decide for ourselves.