Before you move to the next paragraph, I want you to pause for a second and reflect on the times you have said that you want to help via monetary donation, hands on work or even offering your unique set of skills for pro bono work. Now think of why you never got around to making that impact.
Research suggests that, as far back as 18 months, the capacity for humans to help someone where there is nothing to gain is engrained in us. The study further points out that we often act on behalf of others because we have a desire for acceptance from our counterparts. Giving and helping provide emotional wellbeing making us feel good about doing something worthwhile.
So if helping others is engrained in us and provides such incredible health and emotional benefits, why do we continue to make excuses for not helping?
It's simple: our time.
We either have little to spare for the sake of others, or we value our minutes and hours too much that making a difference isn't that important; we rather catch up on episodes of The Voice or America's Got Talent. I am here to tell you that not only do you have time, but you are needed. The last decade brought countless veterans home. They struggle with transition back into civilian society; families struggle to put food on the table for their children and more and more veterans end up homeless after losing their jobs. We continue to watch, and the problems become worse because we aren't making the time.
Difference is a big word and the act of service is beneficial. It does not require an immense amount of energy and rather than talk about the need to make the positive impact, we need to focus on our allotment of personal time. Service is therapeutic. In an era of couch dwellers and more people glued to phone screens playing Fruit Ninja and watching Netflix, the need for how we value time has to change.
Imagine the possibilities if we all dedicate an hour of our Facebook or TV-time to making a difference we wish to see. If each of us spent one, simple hour gathering clothes or sleeping bags for donation or working in a soup kitchen, there would be a consistent flow of community service. The problems we merely observe will become part of our own lives. We wouldn't have to wonder if we made a difference because we see our most valuable possession -- our personal time -- fixing the problems we walk by on the street and hear in the news.
Time is precious. We all know that and we all want to make a difference but the national focus has to be put on the need for service to bring communities closer together and for the sake of our time, excuses can no longer be made.
If you have time to make excuses, you have time to make a difference.