I am back after a long break from writing. I have spent my time volunteering for one organization or the other. School PTAs, neighborhood HOAs and Religious committees just to name a few. And in all those places I have noticed that there is a similarity in how people behave no matter what environment they are in. Even though this week’s blog post is aimed at volunteering it can be true to any organization where a lot of people are involved.
So like all my other blogs let’s start with a story. It is an old Indian story and I have heard it being said many different ways but here is my version.
There is this small village in a remote part of the country and in that village there lived a widowed mother of several small children. She does some odd jobs around the village all day long and barely manages feed her children. One day all the well intentioned charitable people of the village come together and decide that if each of them brings a cup of milk and pours it into a pot placed in front of her hut, at the end of the day the poor woman can feed her children.
On the first day one of the villagers decides that if everyone brings milk no one will notice that he poured a cup of water into the pot. What difference is one cup of water going to make? That evening when the poor women went to check the pot it was half way filled with water. Apparently the entire villager had the same thought, and some didn’t bring anything thinking others must have already filled the pot.
So my friends any organization is as good as the sum of all the parts. Every cup counts. What if one person shows up with a cup of milk but the rest of the village brings water. Now that one cup of milk is wasted. OR Most of the villagers bring milk but one person brings a cup of sour milk and adds it the pot, now they have contaminated everyone else’s good work.
No organization can be successful without everyone one picking up a part and when we do volunteer to do something we should do so whole heartedly with good intentions and give it all our best so that we will not spoil the good work of others.