Serving the Cause

Posted on: January 24th, 2012 by Donna

Recently I heard someone remark, “If elected, I will not serve.”  Perhaps it was said in jest, maybe not; nevertheless the sentiment seems to be contagious. Americans have always been willing to provide funds and manpower to accomplish great deeds. Even though the old 80/20 principle held fast with eighty percent of the volunteers watching as twenty percent did all the work, we gave hours and talent, pledges and service. In fact, the most common reason folks didn’t stay active in worthy causes was that they weren’t given an assignment.

I belong to a number of civic organizations and today they all seem to struggle to fill positions from board members to officers, chairmen, and committee members. So, what’s going on? Are the causes we once felt important less so now?

I’m not talking just political volunteerism and voter apathy, although you know I feel that America is slipping off the edge of sanity by allowing elected officials to continue the excess they’ve fostered. I’m addressing dwindling church attendance, shrinking civic organizations, PTOs, and non-profits. They all struggle to meet ever more modest goals. When did we go from turning the other cheek to turning our back to one another?

I’m talking about the things we worked hard for in the past. The issues our parents deemed important; our churches, homes, schools, and neighbors’ well-being. Has the need for assistance to the widowed, homeless, unmarried pregnant girls, abused or—God forbid—orphaned children, accident victims, jobless,
unchurched, or impoverished diminished? I think not.

Are we truly busier than ever? Or are we chasing dreams of meaningless material fulfillment? Have we become so jaded by the ignoble that cheat, lie, and steal that we’ve given up? I sincerely hope not.

Since its founding, our country opened its arms to the poor and huddled masses that flocked to our shores. Those immigrants didn’t come looking for a handout. They were willing and ready to pursue happiness through honest labor. Nationalities blended into communities, then cities, and then states, and finally united into one great republic admired by the world. Ours is the people who opened their doors, wallets and hearts to the less fortunate.

Every one of us has something to give, and I hope this awakens the donor in you. We are the people—you and me—and it’s up to each of us to love our neighbor, extend a hand, and give until we feel good.  Really good.

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