During this holiday season, I invite you to reflect on how you used your time, talent, and treasure with the things that are most dear to your family.
Admittedly, motherhood has taken its toll on my ability to contribute to my community in meaningful ways. This is the first time in nearly a decade I am not in “baby mode” in some capacity or another. After four boys, we are content in knowing our family is complete and I am no longer in the throws of pregnancy or rearing a baby. I still have to survive our youngest going through his terrible two’s and potty training – but I should get through that period relatively unscathed.
I was never one who fully embraced volunteerism beyond the surface of “it was the right thing to do.” I would help out in various ways, whether it was donations, charitable giving, or the periodic help I could provide. But somehow, the sense of giving never seemed to move beyond a superficial.
I aspired to move beyond doing the “right thing” to living a meaningful life through service. My hope is to set an example to influence my children to live life with purpose, instead of just “going through the motions.” Recently, I started trying to define our family “core values” and question if those are reflected in how we live our lives. I’ve also been struggling to identify “what” is my community and “who” is my tribe. This is when the convergence of community and volunteerism hit me! Being mindful about how you prioritize your time, talent, and treasure builds your community through your volunteer contribution and creates bonds that form your tribe.
Okay, that’s a great concept, so how do you put it in action? Since there are many ways this can transpire, I can only give an example of how our family intends take action.
The primary values our family has embraced are healthy living, education, education, and spiritual growth. Instead of volunteering just because it’s the “right thing to do,” the paradigm attempts to shift action with an alignment with our primary values. This means we will selectively choose how to invest our time, talent, and treasure with organizations and activities that directly relates with our primary values.
My hope is that the volunteer work will become more meaningful because there is a more significant purpose behind the motivations to volunteer in the first place. Time will tell if our tribe is more defined through this exercise, but even if that doesn’t transpire, it will be an enjoyable journey - certainly more pleasant then potty training!