The glorious vacation time is here! Particularly, if glorious means melting temperatures and the threat of another long academic year lurking on the other side of the summer. But we’ll deal with potential threats later and possible alternates to have fun this vacation now!
Many of you would have a long list of activities planned, while some would simply be looking forward to watching the fan spin its motor off all day. While there are a lot of enjoyable things to do over the vacations, the least considered of them would be activities that contribute in some way to the community. Not many of you would have planned to be a part of a pro-environment group or a bird-watching group. Why is that so? Simply because playing videogames in an air-conditioned room trumps picking plastic off the hot sands on the beach any day! But getting involved in activities that endeavour to give back to society in some proactive way does wonders for your mind!
Wondering how? For starters, such activities are a change from the kind of things many people (adults included) usually engage in. Imagine you decide to teach the alphabet to a boy selling sundal on the beach. The novelty of such an experience contributes to expanding your comfort zone. You may learn to speak in a way that not just your English-speaking, school-going friends understand. Through dialogue with other members of the society, your understanding of their rather different life situations will be enriched.
With time, you will see that adapting to new situations and ideas becomes easier and your perception of people and life tends to widen.
Your mind will be more open and accommodating to different thoughts, opinions and ways of life.
If you get involved in a pro-environment movement, you will get to meet experts from various related fields such as trekkers, scientists, photographers, doctors and educationalists! You will see that your list of interests grows with the number of new things you decide to try, not to mention your repertoire of knowledge and information pertaining to different issues. Surely you have heard many social workers say their work gives life so much meaning. Such a sentiment stems from the fact that when we reach out beyond our cocoon to other people, we feel a strong sense of connection and belonging to a larger human network.
Such an involvement can inspire us to learn more, give more and do more, which can be a much stronger driving force in our lives than simply being ambitious to be the best in something.
Take ownership of the planet you live on and responsibility for the people you live with. Read to an illiterate person, go walking with an elderly person, plant a few trees, and leave out water for the thirsty birds to sip on.
The list of small, random acts of kindness is long and their power, immeasurable. Happy holidays!