Monday, May 2, 2011

The best cause is your cause.

Now that grad school is over, my life is so much more... orderly.

I ran this morning. I shaved my legs. I packed a healthy lunch to work. I wrote today. I talked to my husband.  My house is (relatively) clean. We made dinner together instead of running to the gyro place around the corner.  Maybe for you guys that's just another day as a real grown-up, but for me, it's a gold-sticker sort of day.

Of course, I can't help but immediately spin out with new plans now that grad school is over, though I'm trying to keep in to a minimum. The only thing I'm letting myself add into my life now is... volunteer work.

Pre-grad-school, some type of volunteer work was almost always a part of my world. I tried a lot of things: soup kitchen, first response medical team, pet rescue, homeless transitional house, scouting, outreach program for homeless teens, SPCA.  Some weren't a good fit for me and some were fun and inspiring, but I learned something everywhere.

I know there are people who think some causes are more important than others. It's a case I've heard made more than once. Breast cancer trumps animal rescue, because people matter more than animals, for instance. Or conservation doesn't matter when there are children starving to death. Or building homes isn't important when the whole planet is going to hell.  And I really don't get it.

There's lots of bad in the world. Lots of work to do. So who cares what "cause" is most important? Let's just get to work doing something, whatever we're most passionate about. It's not like we're all going to unite tomorrow and decide that, hey, today is the day we're going to cure homelessness (though that would be super).  Maybe it's a good thing we all have different passions and gifts to put to work so we can do different things to lessen the suck in the world.

That's what I believe, anyway. And I'm looking forward to transforming that belief back into action.

Photo from the awesome free stock photo site, Many thanks to the photog!


Neurotic Workaholic said...

I think it's possible to contribute to more than one cause at the same time. For example, it'd be possible to volunteer at an animal shelter while also contributing money to a breast cancer foundation; the animal shelter gig could be a regular thing, and there are temporary breast cancer foundation events that people can participate in, like the marathons.

Ellen Brickley said...

I think any step to make the world a better place is a good one - it may not be the step I'd choose, but it's better than not making any step at all!

Old Kitty said...

I so so so so so so so agree with your last 2 paras - succinctly put!! Yay!!! Altruism is not a competition - having this contributes to making a better brighter world for everyone - human, plant, animal etc!! Take care

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Guinevere, here's to making it this far, congratulations! I have an award for you!!

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Here's to making it this far, congratulations! I have an award for you!!

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Sarah Allen said...

Such a great post! I can NOT wait to get to that point. Best of luck with the writing and everything. I think an volunteering at an animal shelter would be fantastic.

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)