Is there a hierarchy to helping? Not everyone is cut out to sell everything they own and take up residence in a war zone or a remote village without running water. I applaud and respect the people who do it—they are an inspiration. But to be completely honest, they are also sometimes intimidating. After reading Three Cups of Tea, I felt at once rejuvenated to get out there and make a difference and yet, depressed that in comparison to someone like Greg Mortenson, I haven’t done squat and probably never will.
But it’s important to fight that lethargy. It’s not about comparison. There are all kinds of ways to be of use in this world. Maybe you coach kids’ soccer. Maybe you spend a couple of hours a week at a local school helping kids, one-on-one, learn to read better. Paint the walls of a children’s hospital’s examination rooms with cheerful beach scenes or take dinner to a single mom who works long hours.
Start where you are. Who says it has to be organized volunteering? You have a brain. Use it. If there is a hierarchy to helping, I guess we should remember that the base of the triangle is the foundation of it all. I think it all matters. Do you?