Acts of "Selfish" Kindness

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I wholeheartedly agree with Daniel's article, “Acts of (Selfish) Kindness”. I, too, have noticed the dissolute road that “volunteering” is now traveling.
According to the North American Encarta Dictionary, to volunteer is to “do charitable or helpful work without receiving pay for it” or “to perform, or offer to perform, work of your own free will”. In many schools (including my own), “volunteer” work is either rewarded by credit for graduation or is necessary for graduation. Also, many churches require volunteer service before a member can have their confirmation. Although this work is indisputably helpful, extra-credit is, without a doubt, a form of payment and, obviously, forced volunteer work is not of one’s own free will.
There are pros to this system, though. For one thing, a lot more work for the community gets done at virtually no cost. I believe that parts of this system could work, as long as it’s made clear that “community service” is by no means synonymous to “volunteering”. Finally, even though I don’t agree with forcing people to volunteer or bribing them, a little more encouragement to volunteer for the sake of helping others wouldn’t hurt.





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