I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.
I recently went to Annual Day function of an NGO that I have found to be one of the very few organizations that work based on commitment. It is a group of volunteers, spread all over India in 10 cities, that teach English to underprivileged children living in shelter homes. The kids are prepared to face life better by improving their communication skills, computer skills and their overall personality. This is to make them ready for the world outside, where English is considered one of the most important traits to get a decent opportunity. Apart from that, a number of placement & fun activities are also conducted for these children to expose them to various career opportunities.
The best part about this group is that it is totally commitment oriented - one who wants to join the group, has to commit time to the endeavor. The time, whether 2 hrs a week, or 4, is totally dependent on the individual who wants to commit. But once the time is committed, one has to stick to it. If you can't make it, get someone to replace you, and get a strike. Three strikes, and you are out of the system.
There are innumerable instances that I can pick from around me, where people want to do something for the society, but don't know how to contribute. Some give away money, some in kind, some give time, and some have better things to do otherwise.
Reminds me of Khalil Gibran,
You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.
Being there brings back the memories of our childhood days, when playing and winning games like Ring A Ring O'Roses and Musical Chairs used to be the achievement of the day; When the high point of the day used to be when one could sneak out of the class without teacher noticing it; When the race to the school bus used to be like the time when you are running for your life; When that oily burger from school canteen was the yummiest dish to have; When the fights with friends used to last as long as batting of the eyelids; When Cricket Bats and Soccer balls used to be possessions more prized than school books; When we did not get carried away like I am getting carried away now!
Anyways, most of the volunteers here are inspired college students and working professionals, who spend their time over weekends making lives better.
This actually brings aboard a thought that I have encountered many-a-times in past few months, and I get caught in its midst - in many of the circles I am a part of (read professional circles), more often than not, the discussions sway around how people are finding more and more ways of making money, and what are the ways to spend weekends effectively to bring in more moolah. I have friends, who have found ways to and are happy to spend their weekends productively moneywise. Sometimes, I am tempted to think whether I should join such an endeavor too - after all, extra few bucks never harmed anyone. But being the lazy soul I am, I know I do not have a penchant to spend my weekends doing anything other than lazing around, or sports (Agreed - it is an irony that lazing around and sports, both motivate me!).
So on one hand I know these friends whose pockets are overflowing weekend after weekend, and they are happy doing so; on the other hand are these friends who devote their time to such endeavors (like NGO above) and find bliss.
And then there is the third kind - those who laze around :)