Giving Back

“To whom much is given, much is expected”. I’m not sure of the origins of that quote, but it has resonated with me ever since I heard it. It’s motivated me to try to become a better person in all aspects of my life. During my quest to self improvement, I would ask others if they knew of any places that I could engage in community service. The most common response I got to that was: “what’d you do wrong?”. I never got that response when I asked people if they knew of any good places for me to volunteer? This confused me and the question I kept asking myself was “is community service the same as volunteering?”.

While the two phrases may sound the same, and the act of say, cleaning up a river, could be defined as either volunteering, or community service, they are in fact two different things. Community service is a punitive sentence that requires someone to give back to their community because of some wrongdoing they have engaged in. Volunteering, on the other hand, is the willing giving of one’s time, or services.

This explained a lot to me as I had always just used to the two terms interchangeably. I chuckle now at the thought of how many people I told I was doing community service and what crime they must think I committed to have received such a sentence. No matter what it’s called, I’ve had a fortunate life and been given so much that I’m happy to be in a postition give back, willingly.