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The value of volunteering
Volunteering has a huge impact on general public affairs. Another important thing is that volunteering is one of the cornerstones of civil society and without it, creating of community would be impossible.
If people do not know how to organize and do not feel the priorities of the world or do not feel what they need, if they have not developed their communal and associative powers and if their connection is weak, then all that remains is to talk about civil society as an abstract project.
Meanwhile, its reality is people-to-people contact, help, volunteering. How can volunteering change society?
Volunteering comes with political and social maturity, politicians can no longer treat such people as easily manipulated infantile voters.
People who are volunteers feel the priorities of life, they understand what they want out of life and what is relevant to them. Volunteering itself speaks to a person’s moral self-determination and activity. These are mature people.
Volunteering can be fatal, because one of our big problems is the diminution of the power of communion, as evidenced by emigration and people’s disbelief that they can be happy in their own country.
I believe that the powers of community and volunteering are the things on the basis of which Lithuania could create a great alternative.
What volunteering brings
Volunteering gives understanding that there are basic and very simple things in life - a grateful look, the eyes of a grateful person, and it is a real gift. In fact, the ability to share bread, water, attention, the ability to show that a person in need of help is important, the ability to be useful to a sick child or an elderly person are essential things in life, they are living lessons, and it seems to me that it fills in a person’s life.
Sensitivity, helping another person is very important - as love, as recognition, as gratitude, as the presence of mother and father. These are the essential things in life, the person who experiences them matures.
These are lessons that help you look at life very wisely and mature. I think volunteering is a chance to become wise.
This interview was published by the European Commission Representation of Lithuania. (in "Your Roadmap for Volunteering"). The author of interview is Neringa Kurapkaitiene.