Why do I volunteer as a facilitator for the Strengthening Families for the Future program, I asked myself one sunny, early spring day as I was hiking through the forest. I let that question settle in my mind while walking along, listening to the birds chirping and feeling the warmth of the sun on my face. If I didn’t volunteer, I’d have more time to myself in my retirement. After 40 years of working full time, wouldn’t more, relaxing, me-time be the best form of self care?
The answer came to me very quickly. Two of my core values are serving others and personal growth/development. When I’m working in alignment with my values, it’s not really work at all—it’s opportunity to find meaning and serve my purpose. As a facilitator for the Strengthening Families Program I’m enjoying the rewards that come from living my values. I’ve personally struggled as a parent in a dysfunctional family and have gained empowering insights from it. There may be something in my life learning that when shared with participants in the program, can support them in their parenting challenges. And while I’m offering others what I have to give, I receive so much back hearing their stories. I broaden my understanding and develop new perspectives. I’m the “teacher” who becomes the “student”, and I grow as a person.
The answer as to why I volunteer became clear on that clear, sunny day.
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