The other day, my roommates and I were discussing our motivations for serving this year as volunteers. The reasons are as varied as we are. However, I have not really examined why I am doing what I am doing. I just do it.
I decided to participate in this program last April. I wanted to do something for a year that would be beneficial to the common good, would offer career development, would offer me a chance to do some self- actualization and learning and would be better than some entry level job.
What I was not expecting is how massive the problems of poverty and homelessness are. My year of service is merely a drop in a great bucket. I was not expecting to see systems of poverty and injustice perpetuated by the government, families and the homeless themselves. I was not expecting to meet people who were not willing to help themselves or better their situations. I was not prepared for my response to these people, I was surprised by my own lack of empathy and feelings of sympathy for the people I work with. I try to be kind and giving, but I have always been a realist and I have become a cynic.
What motivates me to come to work every day is the fact that I feel that I am called to do this. I feel like I am doing at least something in line with God's will. I derive satisfaction from my j0b, knowing that I am working towards a better society. Not like if I was working at some bank somewhere or some office building, shuffling papers. Also, I am preparing for a career in this field, and every day is professional development.