“Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country”John F. Kennedy
The world is so much bigger than you and I. While it is true that man is naturally selfish, there are more than 8 billion inhabitants on dear mother Earth. In the midst of all the chaos and drama, what will inevitably save us and the world indeed, is our humanity; our ability to be there for one another, and our willingness to look beyond ourselves.
One can’t help but feel sad about the myriads of problems plaguing humanity; wars, climate change, health pandemics, and many more. However, in the face of adversity, humans have shown incredible resilience in wanting to make the world a better place. I remember how people came together to help the Chilean miners and the incredible work Australian volunteers are doing to help people in the midst of the Ukraine-Russia war.
Every time I listen to Michael Jackson’s iconic Man in the mirror song, I get goosebumps from the sincere and urgent call for action to make a change and to look out for one another. It is one of my go-to songs when I want to feel reinvigorated about making a change, starting from one’s self.
Why we should all be volunteers
Volunteering is a selfless act and service of assisting and helping out in a worthy cause. I’m sure there are countless texts out there that will define and accurately describe what volunteering is all about, but for me, it is about giving, not taking. It is about putting yourself out there; being there for someone or something. It might be as huge as a collective call for action or something between just two people. A volunteer is a symbol of strength, hope, and a future for those in difficult situations. A smile or a helping hand is all that someone might need to draw strength and motivation. Volunteers proffer solutions, such as how to help Ukrainian refugees or how Malawian women can grow their businesses in a pandemic, a volunteer does it all.
Five things you should volunteer to do before you die
I know that this sounds like a cheesy caption, but really, these are things we should all do that will leave the world a little bit better than it is now. There are millions of ways one can volunteer to make a difference in our world today, but here are five ways everyone can be a positive force for change.
1. Plant a tree today
Need I say more? The rate at which climate change causes issues such as deforestation and desertification is worrisome. The average global temperature grew by 1.4 Fahrenheit in 50 years. This happened as a result of the decline of tree covers. Also removing trees and replacing them with heat-absorbing asphalt roads and buildings makes cities warmer. The environmental benefits and advantages of planting trees cannot be overemphasized. Our future depends on how well the earth is. So, plant a tree and encourage others to plant a tree. Let’s make the earth green once again.
What greater gift can you leave humanity with than the gift of knowledge? In a world grappling with many out-of-school children, it is imperative that we play our part in educating and enlightening children and youths everywhere. There are many ways that one can volunteer to impart knowledge; either through volunteering to sponsor students to enroll in classes and schools or to volunteer a few hours a week to teach them something one is passionate about. It can be physical or virtual. It can be courses or skills. It can be anything that will enrich the lives of people. An educated world is a better world. Volunteer to teach today.
3. Donate/support a cause
The world today is plagued with so many disasters and issues, including wars, ethnic conflicts, fire and disease outbreaks, flooding, etc. One can do more than just feel sad and pray; one can support with money or goods for victims to reconstruct and restart their lives. This doesn’t have to be a big organization or a global phenomenon; one can look for these causes right in their community and support them. A volunteer is a symbol of hope and humanity for victims. There are many causes worthy of being supported. There are countless initiatives one can volunteer for, such as GroceryAid, TeachForNigeria, etc where one can support worthy causes.
Be it elections, accountability, good governance or health challenges, or the rights of people, we should all volunteer to right the wrongs and correct the injustice and inequalities of this world. It might be in the form of signatures or adding your voice or even more than that. We can join the call to world leaders to end hunger and ensure a better world for all. We must all do that for the greater good and the future generations yet to come. There are hundreds of initiatives worth joining such as BirthdayDeed, UNDP volunteers and so much more where one can sign up and make a difference
5. Ambassador of hope
We all matter and our presence here on this earth leave an indelible mark. We owe it to ourselves to be ambassadors of goodness; radiating positive energy in all our activities. We must bring down walls of racism, sexism, extremism, and all negative stereotypes that ricochet and form problems in the world. This is a mental form of volunteerism everyone should master.
People become volunteers for many causes and reasons. This is the purest form of giving back to the world. It is our duty to be and encourage others to volunteer for a worthy cause or movement today. We all should be volunteers to make the world a better place for everyone. I will end my piece with a quote:
“If not us, then who? If not now, then when?”John Lewis
IVolunteer International is a 501(c)3 tech-nonprofit registered in the United States with operations worldwide. Using a location-based mobile application, we mobilize volunteers to take action in their local communities. Our vision is creating 7-billion volunteers. We are an internationally recognized nonprofit organization and is also a Civil Society Associated with the United Nations Department of Global Communications. Visit our profiles on Guidestar, Greatnonprofits, and FastForward.