In last few years, I constantly see a lot of encouragement around care, share and pay it forward. I also see great many people, groups, institutions and non-profits coming together and passionately working towards greater good. Companies like where I work even match my time and money contribution to the cause that I support. There is so much awareness and reach today. Media, technologies, education and lifestyles are playing critical roles connecting people, resources and causes.
At the same time, with so many groups to work with and causes to support, it can get overwhelming. Especially if you have the heart for it , but short of time and money. A family emergency, health issue or a job loss could force us to step back. I have been in this roller coaster few times.
I have learnt few things by being in those situations myself or by working with people who were in such situations :
1) If you cannot do or contribute, then don’t get involved just because you feel obliged to. Because if you feel miserable, you will make others around you uncomfortable as well. Don’t beat yourself for not being able to do anything and don’t compare yourself with others. When the situation improves, jump back in.
2) If you had been sacrificing family time by getting involved with causes, find something that you can do together as a family. If you have to tone down the frequency and extent of involvement for your family’s sake, then do just that. If you and your family are unhappy, you cannot spread happiness.
3) If you are unable to carry on with your tasks that you were doing before your situation, seek for something else that you will be able to do now. Many a times, you will find offline work that can be done remotely, like editing newsletters, replying emails etc.
4) If you can’t find anything that you can do in your current group, have an open mind and search for another cause or organization where you will find options that work for you. Remember someone somewhere will definitely be appreciative of your work.
Regardless of what, where, how much and how you care, the act itself is priceless. So is the notion of harboring the wish to do something for others. It is like a seed sown today for the future fruit.
Image from: http://chapters.asmconline.org