“There is a healing power in giving”
This week I found myself chatting to a project coordinator volunteer just as we were about to leave. She told how she had gone through a difficult time in her life and that one day she had decided to do something for someone else every day. She reflected on how it had brought her so much joy simply to help someone to get a bicycle from the bike rack!
Out of nowhere I heard myself say, “There is a healing power in giving”. I’m not sure where those words came from, but the longer I thought about them, the more I started to believe them myself.
Earlier that week, my thoughts had turned the other way. What will happen when lockdown restrictions ease? Will we ever be able to enjoy everything that we were once allowed to do, free from the current worry? Or has too much changed during Corona to suddenly be able to be so carefree?
During these times, when I speak to volunteers on projects and ask why they are participating, they talk about their own loneliness and that they wanted to somehow break out of it by joining a Serve the City project. They wanted to meet people, and they wanted to be part of something positive in these complex times.
What will happen to these volunteers? Will people keep wanting to do things for someone else? Or will they want a break from helping others, leaving us to scrape around for volunteers as we seek to help the vulnerable?
I don’t know.
What I do know is that there is a heaviness, a weight caused by a year of uncertainty; lockdowns, measures, what is allowed, what is not allowed, what do I do to protect my loved ones and what do I need myself to “survive” in this day and age. How do I view those who sometimes break the rules, or others who follow them strictly? Should I even be thinking about it?
I think it will take a while before we all feel normal again whenever “normal” returns. Later. Ever.
But what I hope that when we are “freer” again, we will give ourselves the space to heal from this period. I am absolutely convinced that giving something to another can bring healing. So, I invite you if you haven’t already, join us on a project.