Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Connections (through volunteering)

Last Friday, I went downstairs in the Phinney Center to help out running the "open lab" of our Community Technology Center.

For the uninitiated, the CTC is our computer lab at the Phinney Center, and "open lab" is a 2 hour block of time in which anyone can stop by to use the lab for all of their computer and internet needs--high speed interent, printing, scanning, and a smorgasbord of other programs (both Microsoft AND Linux). And it's free and completely open to the public.

Anyway, I was downstairs at the CTC, observing one of my volunteers helping out an elderly patron in using the printer. And it wasn't done with condescenion or impatience. My volunteer was doing his job with utmost care and professionalism. I thought that my CTC volunteer could handle it from there so I decided to go back upstairs back to my office.

It warmed my heart knowing that these two gentlemen were brought together through technology--one wanting to learn and one knowing and willing to teach. Of course, they are some obvious "mercenary" benefits--service learning hours, networking opportunities, enhancment of resumes, etc.--but that's beside the point. In addition, I was touched seeing that people are willing to give themselves--their knowledge, their energy, their time--in helping others simply because it's the right thing to do and that they want to give back to their community. I'm grateful for those who see the intrinsic mutuality between community member and the community itself...and that those who see it act upon to ensure its continued existence and beneficence.

Despite the obstacles and challenges that we face on the job, just seeing that interaction made my day. Knowing that we as neighbors and fellow citizens are willing to reach out to others, differences nonwithstanding. Seeing what I saw at the CTC reminded me that, all in all, i'm just trying to do my best to build community.

That's what it all boils down to, yes?


mobilis in mobili
* "moving in a moving thing"

No comments:

Post a Comment