When we work in groups, we sometimes find it to be a frustrating experience. You occasionally find yourself at odds with freeloaders or difficult personalities. However, most of the time we can benefit by finding the strengths and passions of each group member and allowing our fellow group-members to play to those strengths and passions. At their best, groups can be much more capable of solving complicated problems than any one individual and learning how to be an active participant in group activities is a skill that can benefit us for the rest of our lives.
This is particularly true in the realm of community service and involvement. Giving back through volunteering hours and willingly participating in community projects not only shines through on paper, it helps us grow as individuals and truly benefits our neighbors. When we find a community project that allows us to use our strengths for the benefit of others, we not only enjoy what we’re doing, we are proud of it.
There are limitless opportunities to give back to one’s community. You can work with and mentor children, you can clean up a park, you can help serve the homeless or build a house. Community involvement such as this can help us discover untapped talents and discover new skills. As group members we can pick up valuable lessons about managing people and maximizing efficiency that can be carried over into other areas of our lives.
Most importantly, giving back is a selfless act that pays great dividends to our neighbors and communities. I doubt if there will ever be a day when everyone sees and appreciates the value of volunteering, but that’s why it remains so important. The people who benefit most from community programs are frequently the ones who cannot do it on their own. When we volunteer we become managers, role models, guardian angels, teachers and, in some cases, heroes. Someday soon the world is going to wake up and realize that we can change the world and the process starts at home.