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The Beauty of The Word Unless

BY: Rhoanne Ramas • Aug 07, 2019

Unless, a conjunction used to express what will happen, be done, or be true if something else does not happen, is not done, or is not true.” – Merriam-Webster dictionary.

I try to believe that humans are innately good. Our spirit is strong, and we are capable of withstanding the harsh realities that come our way. I try to believe in the inner compass that each one possesses one way or another. Maybe, that’s why I like the word ‘unless’. In our busy and overloaded life, everyone can easily find limitless excuses to avoid doing things. We can use our imagination that way. At the same time, if we just stop and think, we can use the same ability to do something of purpose. We can extend our hand and give our time to do something meaningful. To do something that goes beyond us.

In the so-called “Me” generation where the ‘trend’ seems to be all about full of ‘my wants’, ‘my needs’, ‘my problems’, ‘my cares’, and everything else in between, I want to find an essence of being “We”.

This gives a sense of inclusion, a welcoming space.

It’s just a one-letter difference after all.

I feel that volunteering somewhat melts the walls we built between others, and us consciously or unconsciously. I feel that in volunteering, we tend to shift the limelight to the other person. Instead of highlighting our wants, we focus on the needs of others. So that even for a moment, it’s not going to be all about me. Then we awaken. We begin to open our eyes and awareness to the aching world. Instead of staying within the narrow grounds, we end up widening our horizons.

In volunteering, you meet people as they are and where they are. You learn to listen and to journey with them, even for just a moment. Then you learn. You learn about their stories, their views in life, and the things that matter to them. Then it feels as if the world is a little warmer and a welcoming place again. But more than that, you discover more about yourself. You discover hidden talents and overcome limits. In volunteering, especially with the people with disabilities, I learned that I have the capability to walk around as a clown; to serve taho, goto, puto, and ice cream to various people; to run around a venue talking to people I don’t know; to dance even if I don’t know how to; to count and distribute tickets in a ticket counter; to shout your lungs out and manage a crowd with agitated children and even more agitated parents and caregivers; to do face painting, and many more. I learned the beauty of being different. I learned the value of being open to new experiences and to just being ‘game’.

Ironically, I feel that I get more from volunteering than what I actually give. Thus, it will always feel like a pay it forward kind of thing. That’s why I want to do this. So I can learn, explore, and see what else I can possibly offer.

Because unless, I take a chance, everything will stay as it is.

Nothing explored. Nothing gained. Nothing learned.

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