Aren't volunteering and community service the same damn thing?
Can I get out of it?
Stages of Choosing to Serve
There is no volunteering - that which Great White Mother tells us to do is our joyful duty. There are instead three stages of Choosing to Serve. Foreplay involves preparing your group for community service, intercourse is the act of servicing, and afterglow is the discussion and criticism.
Oh yes, this can be quite tricky at times. In such a state of excitement, many people find it difficult to find the crucial areas. However, do not be deterred. The hunt is exciting enough, and the reward is definitely worth the difficulty. Furthermore, the failure to find these areas might lead to the failure of this attempt, and jeopardise future endeavours. It's important to keep trying, even if your service feels a bit awkward. Also remember that there are many techniques that must be mastered at this stage of community service. Don't let this discourage you- learning these properly can be fun and in the end will greatly increase the satisfaction you derive from community service.
In this stage, people come together for the benefit of the community. It is often hard work, but is ultimately worth it. There are many ways to accomplish this stage, but each group must experiment to discover which method is most comfortable for them. Again, different groups must master different techniques based on a large range of factors that influence their ability to perform adequate community service. This underscores the importance of trying new and exciting methods of community service. One must keep an open mind and be ready to have fun.
Afterwards, the group should get together and discuss their feelings. Also, praise for the most pleasurable aspects of community service is delivered and constructive criticism helps determine what worked and what did not. It's important to be open, honest, and supportive in this stage, as it is often the only feedback that one gets from the community service experience. Men are often reticent to participate in this portion, often claiming that they have important things to do. Do not be fooled. Those who neglect the afterglow section are the same as those who neglect the first stages. The act cannot be full without participation in all three stages. Otherwise, the full experience will be lost. This is especially important for participating in continued community service activities.
People who are not as experienced with community service often have questions about it. However, they are typically afraid to ask them, because they feel that asking these questions will embarrass them in front of their more-experienced peers. Here are a few common questions of this type.
I get a funny feeling when I participate in community service. Is something wrong with me?
No. Such feelings are perfectly natural, especially for first-timers. The key is not to worry about performing your first time. Instead, get used to this new experience and become comfortable with your fellow participants.
I often have the feeling that my performance is inadequate. Is this normal?
Yes, it's perfectly normal for many people to question their adequacy. This demonstrates the importance of the "afterglow" stage, where such inadequacies can easily be corrected with a change in technique. If this inadequacy continues, it might be a sign of community service dysfunction.
Some strange guy stares at us whenever we do community service. Who is this guy?
It's Immortal Jesuit Emperor Fed Acker Huang, and it's perfectly normal. He often gives helpful advice to first-timers, and takes a very keen interest in this subject.
Sometimes I feel that my group is engaging in other community service projects behind my back.
This is another perfectly normal feeling. The correct thing to do is to stalk him or her to find out what's going on. Remember, if you truly care, you'll never give up.