One of the biggest walls I faced as I entered retirement was what am I going to spend my time on now that I seem to have so much! Suddenly not going into my usual eleven hour a day job in the corporate world was traumatizing indeed. I spent a lot of time flopping around like a fish suddenly pulled out of the pond. It took me some time to finally get the nerve up to try some community service activity. I was somewhat apprehensive as I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Like usual I procrastinated for several months before I took the leap. I must tell you that those were wasted months. Once I got involved in community service there was no turning back. I was hooked.
Community service is generally thought of as committing some of our time to helping groups who help the needy. Fortunately the U.S. has been known as a country that, at least up until maybe recently, feels obliged to help the poor, widows and orphans (as they used to say). The Christian and Islamic Bibles also tell us this is our duty but I am afraid that even many people who follow these doctrines don’t often follow through on what their foundational principles espouse.
We all like to complain about all the money that our government spends on what is called welfare. But, in my mind this is generally just doing what many private organizations are supposed to do but don’t. It is regretful that we push so much of this duty onto our government agencies. Government is supposed to do the people’s business so I guess if the people don’t do it government must step in and do it in our place.
Everyone, and especially those who are retired should be giving at the very least a handful of hours each month to organizations that help the poor and down trodden. If everyone did their part we would not have to rely so much on our government to do it for us. From personal experience I can tell you that doing this will greatly add meaning to your life. Besides doing what God tells you to do you are also taking the burden off our government and therefore our taxes. But let’s not put all the community service opportunities on those retired. If everyone would just give up an occasional golf/football/baseball/basketball/etc outing and instead do some community service it would benefit everyone including you. Quit worrying about yourself and get off your duff and help others.
I will leave it to another post to give you the details of where I have served in the ten years since my retirement.
And the journey goes on…