Rebellious Attitude


Kathryn, our daughter, was up to visit this past weekend. As always it was a treat to spend time together and catch up on what’s been going on in each other’s lives.  We had rain for most of the time, and she visited on our working days, so we didn’t “do” anything of great consequence.  We did managed to get over to the Bittersweet Bakery again — what else do we do when we

20160820095206349
My girls enjoying a nosh

are together if not to laugh, tell stories, and eat!

Of course to get to the bakery is a 25 mile drive — it seems that just about anything  is s 25 mile drive from here, but not really.  The fields are looking verdant, with tall corn and thick fields of soybeans.  Which is mostly what we see by way of crops unless you are thinking about farmer’s private gardens.  However, along the way — just before Plum City — we found this farmer who is growing pumpkins.20160820092937348e37

Those two on the right have got to be a couple hundred pounds at least!

liking yourselfOur conversations always wander all over the board but I can’t one or two observations came up over the weekend that got me thinking about about how much of modern day advertising is aimed at getting a person to buy things that are suppose to help us, or make us better, or make us prettier, or some such thing. It’s really quite amazing at how much of advertising, and contemporary thought, is devoted to telling people they aren’t good enough.

I’m not sure there’s any connection between my picture of the big pumpkins– a farmer trying to raise a bigger and better pumpkin than his neighbor (which I’m sure is for a contest, as no one in their right might is going to want to BUY a huge pumpkin) — and self doubt.  I’m not trying to say that the farmer has an inferiority complex — it’s just an odd juxtaposition of detail.

Our ever-planning-daughter brought up ideas for her next visit to us — which likely will occur early this winter, once we arrive in Texas.  It’s always fun to hear her plotting and scheming to get in the most “something” on her vacations.  I remember how we used to plan vacations to do just about the same thing:  more places, more miles, more people — and I’m glad Peg & I are to that point in life when we don’t have to look at our own movements with haste, Man walking at sunsettaking our time about most of our decisions, and then indulging our daughter from time to time.  It seems luxurious to do so.  Do you know what I mean?  Most of the time we go along at our own pace and then from time to time we have this spurt of adrenalin while we try to keep up with the younger generation!

In spite of the weekend rain I had a few more conversations with folks nearing retirement age who wanted to know everything there is to know about volunteering.  I react to those conversations with mixed feelings;  I know that most of the people who inquire won’t ever even become serious RV’ers. More people say they are going to do something than actually live up to their words.  Among those that give it a try, a certain percentage will quickly realize that the lifestyle is not what they dreamt all the fantasy aspects of RV’ing, not the reality. Even though most of those conversations aren’t going anywhere, I still feel a esponsibility to paint volunteering with an accurate brush.

Where I’m going with this refers back to that saying about liking yourself.  I wonder how many of the folks who inquire about what it’s like to volunteer do so because they are unhappy with the life they are living and think that a major change in how they live will result in a change in who they are.

It’s interesting that ‘how’ and ‘who’ consist of the same letters rearranged.   Changing your life is all about keeping the same components — the letters or your personality — and utilizing them in different ways.  We can’t change our personality. We can’t change the components — just as the letters ‘w’, ‘h’, and ‘o’ aren’t going to morph into ‘h’, ‘e’, ‘r’, and ‘o’, we can’t change when we were born, or our parents or the city in which we were born. If we haven’t learned to like ourselves as we are now, doing something different probably isn’t going to change that.  But it will affect how we act in whatever activity we choose to do when we are trying to change ourselves.

One of the comments I have heard through the summer is that campers “actually see us” in the campground, or that we “interact more with campers” — and I find that interesting.  We all have our own ways of fulfilling obligations.  Some people take volunteer gigs to catually volunteer.  Others take volunteer gigs to save money on RV’ing — the lure of a ‘free’ campsite is strong for those who’s budget might be tight.  Some that I’ve seen have chosen to volunteer as a way of hiding from the world; getting away from something negative in their life.  And it’s not my place to judge anyone, or any motive.  We all have a right to live our lives as we see fit.

full measureThe reason I bring this up is that our motivation impacts how we perform. If all we want is free rent we aren’t inclined to be engaged in what the agency asking us to volunteer is trying to accomplish.  If we are trying to hide from something, again, our engagement with people, with the ‘job’ is going to suffer.  And the question arises is it fair to either the agency you are volunteering for, or to the people who use the services of that agency, if you aren’t engaged in your gig?  I happen to think we have an obligation to give fair value for whatever we are receiving — whether it’s a free campsite, or a government ride, or free propane, or whatever it might be.  The more you “get” the greater the obligation.  It’s not about what the agency requires of you, it’s about how you interpret those requiremscant cupents.  Whether you give full measure, packed down and filled to overflowing, or whether you give a short measure.

I’ve had campers ask me how much time we give to the CORPS and then had them calculate their current hourly rate times the number of hours we put in and try to equate the cost of a campsite with what they see as lost wages.  Obviously volunteering isnt’ going to net you as much as if you were still employed.  But I think there’s something bogus about trying to make such an equation.  And how we see ourselves plays a big part in that equation.  If you are happy with yourself then giving to others is easier.  If you think you aren’t being recognized for your true potential then volunteering becomes all about giving up what you never thought you had enough of.  Instead of giving out of your abundance, you feel you are sacrificing out of your meagerness.  It’s a little difference in attitude, but a huge difference in outcome.

I encourage everyone to give back to society; to volunteer; to help out.  But I do think it’s important that the emphasis is more upon the benefit the other person/people/agency receives and less about what the volunteer receives.  And I’m convinced that loving yourself, is an act of societal rebellion.

Be a rebel

Thanks for stopping by,  I’ll be here tomorrow to chat once more.

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6 Comments

  1. Objection! I do seem to remember telling you that I was trying to figure out the best way for us to meet up (with other people in 2 other stops) WITHOUT feeling like we are always on the run!! 😉 i.e. trying to decrease activity (as much as is possible between 3 cities in honking BIG Texas!) :0

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    1. I’m just having fun with it, you know me!

      And Texas IS a honking big state.

      On the other side of the coin, as a family I suspect we have a unique way of viewing travel that others might get a kick out of. 🙂

      >

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think there are some people who take the idea of volunteering quite naturally. They are probably the ones who have what I call a natural rate of exchange in life. The give and take occurs without precise measure, different from those who calculate to the dollar and cent.

    I have always been a round up or down type of person when it comes to money…my MIL is a exact change type. Understandably, she had to account for all expenses in her profession. I just prefer not to cash checks with change. I think it’s silly to pay family for a stamp when you need it…it offends my natural nature to help. Yes, there will always be people who will take advantage of helpful people but I have learned to recognize that sort and have learned how to say no and avoid that outcome.

    One of the reasons I always enjoyed bartering is the natural exchange of goods and services. You have something I need, what can I trade you for it. When we were young and broke…and I was pregnant, we decided to barter my prenatal care and delivery with our midwife. I cleaned her house and she gave me check ups and delivered Michelle. We were both extremely happy with that arrangement.

    Now volunteering is doing something with no expectation of return…calculating loss of wages violates that definition. But in real honest the “return” one gets is far superior to any monetary amount. I would just recommend that one volunteer in a subject/area that one is passionate about or has a strong interest in…otherwise they may or may not get that bonus reward of satisfaction and fulfillment that naturally occur when one helps another.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree completely about keeping one’s volunteering to areas where they are passionate. Good advice for sure.

      I wonder whether people ever consider the impact that their career will have on their personality. I know I quit jobs that were changing my personality — as you mentioned about people who have to account for expenses in their business life — various work duties become part of our personality over time.

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      1. Oh, yes…work duties and personalities do affect one’s personalities…for sure. Dan, my first husband and I used to get into tangles related to our personalities. His job required listening and my job required evaluating. So I talked and evaluated more than I should and he listened and listened and listened…Boy, I’d sure like to hear some opinion once in a while. I remember almost cheering one day when he got mad enough to throw a pillow at me…it was a response!

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