Hands and Home

Hands. Doing Something with your hands, shaping something into something else. Creating a whole from smaller parts. Seeing your contribution matter. I recently wrote about mattering and after volunteering just two times for Habitat, I know that this is the feeling it engenders. The connection, the clear fact that my behavior is leading to a positive outcome in this world full many negative ones. Contribution brings relief. The focus off of myself, temporary freedom from what-ifs, the if-onlys, if-this-then-that’s. When I feel connected and doing things that actually bring positive change, my self preoccupation is dampened. My dissertation involved looking at what youth articulate as being purposeful in their lives, and many of them noted areas of service. Perhaps they were just trying to impress the researchers, in a similar way that I attempt to curry the recognition o my supervisors. And yet deep down, I think people get this…we matter to others. In these days of anxiety about our futures, it is easy to become singular. To cease from giving in an attempt to reserve our resources. When we live in a culture of depravity, it is easy to become isolated. Perhaps a haven in the midst of the upheaval is to start seizing our non financial assets. To mobilize and capitalize on our ability to attend to the needs of others. To contribute. To stand up and cast our vision, our votes. To commit to one hour a week focused on a volunteer effort. Something that feels “like work” initially and slowing transforms into an investment with high dividends. Again, I say: You, you are part of me. We participate in the becoming of others. And this is what matters to me right now.

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