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On Giving Back.

I've decided to give back. I want to do something hands-on and real, outside my usual back-office, behind the scenes, administrative type helping that has been the usual M.O. of my past volunteer work. I'm scheduled for a two-day training with Hospice and am going to visit with Hospice patients who are living in Hospice's facility, who are in the final stages of cancer.... hand holding, talking, listening to patients and being a support to family members.

This kind of work isn't for everyone and those who can extend such emotional support, should do so, I think. It's not a huge time commitment at all. The beautiful thing is that this volunteer work will accommodate my need for flexible times against a sometimes unpredictable work schedule; there are opportunities and needs for people during weekends, holidays and even the middle of the night. There is always someone needing comfort, things needing done, an extra hand to help out on anything... and certainly not enough paid staff people to serve such great needs of the dying. The nursing staff are strapped and overworked... it'll just be little things to help, but I know it will make a difference.

I wish more people would volunteer. I was just talking with a friend who observed that so many people "retire" at age 65 to go play golf or some dumb thing, and they find themselves without purpose in life and end up dead before they enjoyed the years ahead they only dreamed of in retirement. Think about that and the implications for finding purpose and helping others and how it adds to one's own life....

It's been said by many wise men and great philosophers that the intrinsic reward of helping another benefits the giver... perhaps even more than the recipient, himself. Life has had unkind curves for me, but I have so much inside of me bursting with hope and optimism. There certainly is a selfish element to the things I want to do in giving back.

I hope to be in full force volunteering within a month's time and will keep you posted.

Do you volunteer?

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