As related from my daughter Emma with her volunteer work to Chiang Mai, Thailand.
“It wasn’t exotic. sometimes I felt like a big fake. When I left to work for a month in Chiang Mai, Thailand, I felt like I was about to do some great work. My first day though, I realized the last thing this organization needed was me. My skill set was far from unique. Their needs were much longer than the month of service I was giving.
Some of my time at the women’s shelter was spent teaching English and helping in the kitchen and daycare. But the majority of it was spent behind a desk, looking over financial reports, or cutting out lamination projects for the preschool. Cutting out circles and squares. I felt like a total failure at first. What was I doing here? Who was I benefitting?
It wasn’t until I later reflected on it that I realized I’d been seeing everything all wrong. I was so preoccupied in the “what” and “how” I was helping at the shelter, that I forgot the “why”.
I was looking over financial reports so the organization could help and fund twenty more women in the next year. I was teaching English so that these women could make it in the tourist community with their small businesses when they left the home. I was cutting out over a thousand circles and squares, because it was one less thing the overworked pre-school teacher had to do. Giving her the opportunity to spend more time with the children, or even just taking a break.
It was in Thailand that I learned the power that comes when we truly ask “why”.
Your challenge this week: find something you struggle to look forward to and dig deeper into the “why” of what you’re doing.
Good luck this week!