Sunday, 16 November 2008

Volunteering and the youth of today

Recently I've been involved in a project where significant amounts of volunteer work is required to make it a success. Although the level of help has been enormous, the cross section of ages of people involved has been very interesting. Almost all of the volunteers have been the parents of kids involved in the project and none of the kids themselves. By kids I refer to those with the age group of 30 and under. Many of these people are heavily involved in the sport in question, but very few have turned up to help out - their mothers and father have though. I find this very disappointing - after all, these kids are the ones who demand the best facilities and complained the loudest when the previous facilities were falling into aged disrepute.

I'm not sure if this is endemic across all volunteer efforts, but the ones I'm involved in it certainly seems to be. It's as if the altruism our parents demonstrate, the generosity of their time and effort have not been passed on to their overly spoilt and wilful children. I'm not sure how to combat this, after from charging those who don't help out more than those who do help out. Recognition of the effort being made by these volunteers is important - but they don't help for that reason. As a wise man once said, it's amazing how much can be accomplished when the people involved aren't asking for anything.

Personally I've spent several long hard days helping out and I'm exhausted, but I'm also disappointed and a bit unhappy about the lack of help from people my age. Lazy bastards I think while I'm out there working - a few more young folk and the work would go much easier. Instead older men and women are expending their efforts for something they'll only enjoy peripherally at best. Here is my message then, to you young folk - get off your arses and go and help out. Only a couple of hours of your time makes a big difference - you're not just helping yourself, but many others too. I actually feel ashamed of my age group. I'm appalled at the younger people and I don't know where this has gone wrong - maybe those self same parents making the effort now failed to teach those altruistic skills onto their progeny? At any rate, I've got work to do, and sitting here bitching isn't getting it done.

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