Imagine a world with no volunteers. From a world to a local community scale. A world with no medical volunteers, no one to help rescue those affected by the many natural disasters we have witnessed, no one to help those most vulnerable in our society, no one to help fix the raggedy fence of the local park, no one to give a voice to the voiceless, no one to stand for those who cannot...?
Is it possible to imagine? No.
Yet, it's a phenomenon that we take for granted. We always expect that theres plenty of other people that will fill these roles, that will help out, so that do not have to, because and understandably our lives are busy, what with our 9-5, our studies, our family, our social life, playing the latest wii craze, and keeping up with saucy antics of the XFactor contestants. But what of the people that do not have the chance to work, because they don't even have a home, and if they do, its barely a roof over their heads, with their schools, for those who are permitted to be educated, a 10 mile walk each day, children who cannot play because they are acting as adults and taking care of their family.
Volunteers, humanitarians, changemakers, our world would be desolate without them, lacking hope.
Volunteering cannot be simply part of a gap year phase, taking pictures of the kids that you helped, never to see, hear or help them again. The help must be consistent and ongoing. Volunteering, doing a 'good deed', performing your civil duties, whatever you want to call it, all falls under the umbrella of giving. Giving back to your people, your society, your world and helping to make it that little bit better, not just for this generation but for many to come.
For some people it has become their life. Day in, day out, it has become a calling. And many have died selflessly for the sake of creating change, attempting to make humanity more humane, being an active changemaker.
Aung San Suu Kyi, now aged 65, was released from house arrest by the Burmese Military Junta just a couple of days ago on 13th November, 2010. As a pro-democracy leader, she has fought tirelessly for the minimum standards of democracy and freedom for the people of Burma. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, the Committee mentioned Suu Kyi's struggle to be 'one of the most extraordinary examples of civil courage in Asia in recent decades. She has become an important symbol in the struggle against oppression'.
The Nobel Peace Prize through awarding Suu Kyi also wished to show its support for the many people throughout the world who are striving to attain democracy, human rights and ethnic conciliation by peaceful means. Previous selfless campaigners and Nobel Peace Prize Laureates include, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, The Dalai Lama and Shirin Ebadi.
The story of Suu Kyi is of a remarkable woman, who showed great strength and courage in the face of a torturous junta and not just for one day but for many, many years. Her release in many ways gives much needed hope to the many thousands of other political prisoners held unjustly in Burma and also around the world.
Change, help, support can occur through many different mediums. But this act of being a changemaker in whatever form must at least be something that is a part of your life. A natural activity that is as normal in your day as buying the newspaper or going out for lunch... Helping others must be incorporated into our existence, because without it, we will cease to exist as humans. And what will become of us then?
Whether you help a person, a family, a community or a country, your contribution is beneficial to so many more than you think. And good has a way of being contagious, you may not notice it, but its there, and it makes the world go round.
So lend a hand because Your World Needs You.