Updated: Mar 22, 2019
By Veronica Perry
I believe everyone on Earth is born with the same purpose: to serve humanity. What is more, everyone has a personalized mission, unique to their experience. Individual missions are usually formed through exposure to common cycles of life: loss and gain, rejection and acceptance, sadness and joy, and so on. These ubiquitous life experiences can trigger feelings of empathy and compassion for others, often leading one to find an outlet to express their mission.
Connecting with others through shared emotions, experiences and service to the community are integral parts of the human experience. Our culture is becoming increasingly techno-centric and isolated, making service organizations more important to our society now, than ever before. Service organizations provide people with an outlet to advocate for a cause they are passionate about, make communities stronger through human connection and provide both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards.
According to Forbes, passion is the "why" behind what you do and it also fuels an organization's or an individual's purpose (Baldoni, 2016). Alaina Love, president of Purpose Linked Consulting, has surveyed 3,500 individuals on the topic of passion. Her firm’s research reveals that "purpose and passion are integrally linked, like the two strands of DNA that comprise the code for life (Baldoni, 2016)”.
Love conducted a study where 77% of respondents claimed that ‘allowing people to express their passions through their work is necessary for making a positive impact on the social, political and economic challenges of our time (Baldoni, 2016)’. This is especially true when it comes to service organizations in the 21st century. With diverse causes from breast cancer awareness and at-risk youth to animal rights and environmental advocacy, it is possible for anyone to find a service organization they are passionate about.
Human connection, an "energy exchange between people who are paying attention to one another", is essential to make a significant, positive impact on the world (Brown, 2018). For significant change to occur, people must come together with a shared vision of the future. Communities become stronger and more stable when their citizens are connected and engaged, working towards common goals for the greater good.
"Data indicates that we can increase positive human connections through practicing compassion for others, as well as for ourselves" (Brown, 2018). Moreover, a culture of volunteerism makes our community stronger, richer and a better place to live. Without compassionate volunteers, many non-profits would not exist, causing those who are served by those organizations to have even fewer resources (Wilkes, 2016).
Volunteering requires time and effort, but the feelings of accomplishment, empathy and connectedness to something bigger than yourself, give life to a new perspective, making the experience worth while. Understanding the value of human connection as a fundamental part of the human experience is crucial to our well-being. People need positive, authentic connections in their life in order to function at their highest psychological and emotional potential (Wilkes, 2016).
As our world becomes increasingly isolated, it's important to feel connected to one another. "The warm feelings of human connection are important to maintain our overall emotional and physical health", creating a sense of belonging and social support (Brown, 2018). In fact, the Corporation for National and Community Service reports that those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not (Wilkes, 2016).
In the 21st century, service organizations are essential; they allow people to express their passion through service and connect with their community in the process (Baldoni, 2016). To add, service organizations create stronger, more engaged communities (Baldoni, 2016). Without service organizations, social services would be provided on a much smaller scale and it would be difficult for our society to progress.
Service organizations deserve higher levels of participation because serving your community not only helps to create a better, more compassionate world, but also provides personal rewards such as, a sense of connection, feelings of competence and inner joy.
When is the last time you really asked yourself: “How am I helping humanity?”
Baldoni, J. (2016). Driving Passion To Fulfill Your Purpose. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnbaldoni/2016/06/29/driving-passion-to-fulfill-your-purpose/#675e972c382f
Brown, D. P. (2018). The power of human connection. Retrieved from http://www.liherald.com/islandpark/stories/the-power-of-human-connection,102632
Wilkes, M. (2016). Volunteering gives us more than good karma. Retrieved from https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion/commentary/sdut-volunteers-benefits-community-2015dec19-story.ht