Who is a volunteer?
A volunteer is someone who comes to help without being asked. Someone who is self-motivated and inspired becomes a volunteer.
It is possible for a volunteer’s inspirational motivation to diminish, which can bring frustration. Usually a volunteer’s attitude comes from demand rather than humility, and this dilutes the quality of the service.
Another downfall for volunteers is that they slip away from commitment, thinking there is no “boss,” thinking, “if I like it, I’ll do it; if I don’t like it, I don’t do it!” it is like steering wheel of a car – if all the tires say they do not need to be steered, then the car cannot move forward. If you want to construct a building, you have to accept the authority of the structural engineer, the “boss.”
All these problem can be overcome only by being more grounded in spiritual knowledge. A volunteer devoid of spirituality is utterly weak.
· A volunteer need to remain faithful to his commitment.
· The integrity of a volunteer comes from his spiritual practices.
· A volunteer must accept the leader of the project.
· The strength of a volunteer is based on the challenges he is ready and willing to face.
· A volunteer moves beyond boundaries when he finds he is capable of doing so much more than he ever thought of doing.
· A true volunteer does not expect appreciation or reward and he who think he is obliging someone is thoroughly mistaken.
A person volunteers because he derives joy from it. That joy itself is the reward, and it is immediate. It does not come on the first of every month in the form of a salary. When a volunteer realizes this, he is filled with gratitude.
When a volunteer waivers from within, his support is knowledge and good friend.
Taipei, TaiwanNovember 9, 2001
There are five types of seva.
The first type is the seva done when you do not even know that you are doing it. You do not recognize it as seva because it is your very nature – you cannot help doing it!
The second type is the seva that you do because it is needed for that situation.
The third type of seva is done because it gives you joy.
The fourth type of seva is done out of your desire for merit – you do seva expecting some benefit in the future.
And the fifth type is when you do seva just to show off, to improve your image and to gain social or political recognition. Such seva is simply exhausting while the first type does not bring any tiredness at all!!
To improve the quality of your seva, regardless of where you start, you must move to the higher level.
Bangalore Ashram, IndiaNovember 23, 2001