Giving Back | Teen Ink

Giving Back

January 8, 2010
By xxBlackbeltxx BRONZE, Plainfield, Illinois
xxBlackbeltxx BRONZE, Plainfield, Illinois
3 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Giving Back

“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart” – Elizabeth Andrew

Volunteers are normal people like everyone else in the world. Just because they choose to volunteer doesn’t mean they have the time to do so, it means that they have the goodness within themselves to volunteer even if it requires a personal sacrifice on their own behalf. Only few true Americans have the heart to sacrifice their own time for the good of others. Everyone else in America should start to realize what this world would be like without those who make the personal sacrifice.

Lazy. Most likely the best word to describe a large percentage of the American population. Many people these days seem to think that everything will come their way without working towards their dreams and goals. From homework to life-long lessons, teens and some adults are simply easing off from what previous generations were likely to describe as day to day living; in other words, many people are not completing their duties of normal life. According to the Corporation for National & Community Service, a total of 61.8 million Americans reported volunteering in the year 2009 ("Corporation for National & Community Service"). Although this number seems quite large, it is still only a portion of the American population. Volunteering can be from sorting books at the library to cleaning the parks in the community. It is defined as making the world a better place for everyone past, present, and future. Although people may not think they are lazy, but Americans need to begin to realize the importance of volunteer work and start working for the good of the world.

Teenagers are a large portion of today’s society. Many positives as well as issues result from this. Massive amounts of today’s modern economy revolve around teenagers. Clothing and video games are just some of the many things people now tend to call “necessities”. Sometimes people don’t stop to realize the things that really matter in life.
Recently Dr. Phil has told his opinion about what people now call “Generation Me”. In other words, kids these days are always thinking about ourselves and don’t really stop to think about what exactly we “need” and what we “want”. On Dr. Phil’s blog, he states, “But it’s more than just about money. It appears that we’ve lapsed into a phase where we reward children just simply for existing, rather than for achieving or performing.” (McGraw). This is entirely true of course as every child growing up wants one of those 6 foot trophies in their room. The thing people need to understand is that that trophy doesn’t just magically appear out of nowhere. In order to get that trophy, you have to work for it and truly earn it. On his show, he explains how calling children “special” gives more meaning than it was supposed to. When kids are told they are “special”, it gives them the idea that they can get away with anything or, they can get anything and everything they want just because they’re “special”.

Volunteer work can greatly affect everyone’s day to day living. Many people depend on others just to make it through life. Everyone has their hardships and it greatly helps to have someone there for you. Peter Munsat writes that his girlfriend went above and beyond her duties and helped young people from underprivileged families. She helped a young boy at her charter school whose mother passed away and his father was in his 60’s dying of cancer. Lisa, Peter’s girlfriend gave the boy food, clothes and other necessities when he needed them. When the young boy’s father finally passed on, Lisa took him to the funeral as no one else would have done it for him. The boy lives happy now with his aunt and is doing very well even after all the misfortune placed upon him (Munsat).

Although doing volunteer work may seem like hard work and not very enjoyable, there are many benefits to volunteering. According to the CNCS, giving back can: solve personal problems, strengthen communities, improve lives, connect to others, transform your life and most of all help the people around you. People who volunteer also experience lower mortality rates, greater ability to function, and have less depression when aging than those who don’t volunteer ("Corporation for National & Community Service"). Giving back doesn’t have to be discouraged amongst humanity as there’s no reason that it should be. Some people these days just think all about themselves and take for granted what they have; the things that truly matter. Those who take the time to help others understand the meaning of life; making the world a better place. Without the people’s work they so willingly do for humanity this world would not be where it is today. The parks would be filthy, more people wandering the streets, more violence rather than peace. Giving back brings balance into the picture and without it, everything else fails.

Giving back is a major part of the world. Many things are achieved through volunteer work that could never be achieved by a paid task force. Volunteer work has saved the US billions of dollars over the years and will continually help the world around us. Not only does it have a positive effect on the communities, it also has a great effect on us as individuals. The world needs a little love and giving back is a great way to start. Giving back is taking your own time to help the people, places, and things around you to ensure that this world can live in harmony for eons to come. Donating all of your money or spending all of your time in a homeless shelter isn’t what it’s all about; it’s all about making a difference in your life, your community, and the world as a whole. Making a difference is standing out from the rest, doing things creatively, things no one else would think of doing. Americans are truly missing out on the greatest way to make a difference; giving back.

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