I recently finished reading Jonathan Franzen’s book, Freedom, which has been described as a portrait of our times. I found a particular line of his prose to be very telling. Within the context of the female protagonist looking for significant change in her life, he writes….
“What she should have done then was find a job or go back to school or become a volunteer.”
It seems he understands the inherent paradox volunteering can have on a person’s life. It’s not just for them; it’s for you.