Friday, October 12, 2007

Volunteering

Out of curiosity, when you volunteer to help someone else out, do you feel that you get the most benefit (that is, that they are allowing you to participate in something special) or that they get the most benefit (that is, that you are helping them?)

Related question: If you have to get to an event at a rather early time in the morning, whose responsibility is it to arrange for transportation? If you choose to be involved and volunteer, is it upon you to arrange for your own transportation? Or do you feel the organization for whom you are volunteering ought to arrange transportation?

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

When my yetzer hara gets the better of me, I feel like the whole world owes me a big favor now that I did this good deed. When I get my head on right, I feel that I was priveleged to be of use. And perhaps each of my perspectives ends up being true. When my volunteering arouses my arrogance and my feeling of entitelment, then those I help benefit more than I do, but when my action helps me feel the joy of giving and the peace of humility, then I have benefited more than the person i tried to help.

Anonymous said...

When my yetzer hara gets the better of me, I feel like the whole world owes me a big favor now that I did this good deed. When I get my head on right, I feel that I was priveleged to be of use. And perhaps each of my perspectives ends up being true. When my volunteering arouses my arrogance and my feeling of entitelment, then those I help benefit more than I do, but when my action helps me feel the joy of giving and the peace of humility, then I have benefited more than the person i tried to help.

G said...

that they are allowing you to participate in something special

--**rolling eyes**Oh, please.


that you are helping them?

--Of course!

There is a benefit, the knowledge that you are acting as you feel you should in addition to whatever positive outcome the volunteer work is helping to accomplish.

Ezzie said...

That you're helping them. You might get benefit too, but certainly they're getting more.

Easy way to think about it - when someone does a favor for you. Who got more? You or them? Saying 'them' would be a very poor approach, as it would put you in a situation where you'd be thinking that all the favors people do for you are really for them.

~~~

The organization is generally responsible, but it does depend on the favor.

Also, some organizations are ones in which your volunteering is a favor, but it's also one in which you get MUCH benefit from. (Say, NCSY.) The more benefit you're getting, the less the onus would be on the organization to arrange for you - they're, after all, doing you a favor as well.

Anonymous said...

"If you have to get to an event at a rather early time in the morning, whose responsibility is it to arrange for transportation"

Its no ones “responsibility.” If they arrange transportation you take it, if not, you arrange it yourself. Whatever the arrangement is, it is. No one is forcing you to do anything.

I love you said...

Rambam's 8 degrees of volunteering:

8. When volunteering is done grudgingly.

7. When one volunteers less than he should, but does so cheerfully.

6. When one volunteers directly for the poor upon being asked.

5. When one volunteers directly for the poor without being asked.

4. When the recipient is aware of the volunteer's identity, but the volunteer does not know the identity of the beneficiary.

3. When the volunteer is aware of the beneficiary's identity, but the beneficiary is unaware of the source.

2. When the volunteer and beneficiary are unknown to each other.

1. The highest form of volunteering is to help sustain a person before they become impoverished by offering a substantial gift in a dignified manner, or by extending a suitable loan, or by helping them find employment or establish themselves in business so as to make it unnecessary for them to become dependent on others.

Stubborn and Strong said...

Both! but again i volunetter to help one family not NSCY and i was looking for a family that i could help and that family welcome me into thier home. They are so grateful that i came but at same time i am so grateful that they are welcome me into thier home meaning they are able to trust me to see inside thier home and know all thier problems and fear. So we both get the benefits. I pay my own transportation because I am looking to help not not other way. If they WANT you, they should pay transportation.

Anonymous said...

Ooh, a post analyzing altruism. That "do people free will?" post cant be too far behind.

Anonymous said...

When I love the volunteer work I am doing, I feel like I am getting all the benefit, and I only hope that the beneficiaries of my work appreciate it half as much as I do. When I don't enjoy the volunteer work, I know that I get a mitzva of course, but I don't really feel like I've benefited.

Generally I arrange my own transportation.

haKiruv said...

I say it benefits both.

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