Coming up for air, coming down to earth

As the Nonprofiteer returns to normal life and recuperates from the excitement of the campaign and the victory, she ‘s experiencing the withdrawal described accurately though humorously by the Onion: the sense of meaninglessness accompanying the sudden cessation of campaign activities.  Which leads to the following reflection:

People volunteer not because they need something to do but because they want someone to be.

What the Nonprofiteer is missing right now is not a series of activities–make these phone calls, schedule those events–but the person she was: office manager, Obama for America.  What she misses is the sense of mission and purpose, and of a role for herself in that mission and purpose.

Many prospective volunteers speak with frustration of their experiences of volunteering in the past–unable to find a place that can use their skills, or a place that will include them.  Perhaps if we (prospective volunteers and volunteer agencies alike) thought less about what people wanted to do, or could do, and more about who they want to or could be, we’d have better success.

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2 Responses to “Coming up for air, coming down to earth”

  1. Katherine Says:

    New headline: “Nail hit on head by Nonprofiteer.”

    One of many insights, I think, brought on by your own experience and perceptiveness, in conjunction with Obama’s restatement of purpose for our fine country. I am sure you 100% correct: it’s all about what and who we want to be.

  2. Anita Bernstein Says:

    Great return post! We readers have missed you.

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