Voluntary Acts of Kindness

By Sara Michael.

It is an honor to work with volunteers. Those who choose to volunteer are as varied as the birds who frequent our feeders; colorful, not, subdued, boisterous, relenting, territorial, quick darters, slow gliders, conservative, liberal, joyfully vocal and gently quiet – and sometimes a mix of all of the above. In short, our volunteers are spectacular and human and I have spent time reflecting on the individual gifts each one offers just as I have spent many idle times watching and learning from the assortment of birds interacting at our deck. My life experience tells me that everything and everyone is my teacher. Volunteers, well there are so many of them, have taught me a great deal; about service, leadership, delegation – aka ‘letting go’ -, generosity, friendship, trust, teamwork, and the common bond that runs through every one of us. Each volunteer wants to do something to serve others-selflessly. In my vocabulary I call that love and a deep recognition that we are inseparably connected from the core of our being. You know we all live someplace special because of this connection. We recognize this bond and realize it through action. There is nothing that stops this beautiful force and it doesn’t have to rely on anyone else’s failure or poor fortune. With this loving recognition at the forefront we can agree to disagree with genuine smiles and let go of the little stuff. Once we know what serves another serves us and the whole, well….volunteers are born. And the joy multiplies. Here is my heart laid out to every volunteer, here and around the globe. Here is my thank you for the lessons you have taught me and the kindness you have shown me. Here is the love that you give freely, returned to you tenfold. I love your sweet, sweet song…..no matter how you sing it.

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