Giving Back

Posted on October 15, 2009

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A mentor once shared his philosophy on remaining happy in life by periodically evaluating where you stand with career, family, and community. If you sense an imbalance in any one area, likely you are due for an adjustment. Serious dissatisfaction in one area likely impacts all parts of your life. When a friend hates his job, I know about it even though I may not work with him. Likewise, when a work colleague is having issues at home, usually it spills over in some way to work. It works in the opposite way too. Being seriously thrilled about home life may help a person cope with a miserable work situation. What is bad for one person is great for another, so it is impossible to generalize where on the scale a person should aim for.

This philosophy resonates with me. I see in myself the need for interesting work, a good home life, and the feeling that I am part of making the world a better place. When I chose to become an accountant, I knew that these parts of my life would necessarily be separate. The four years that I worked for a socially responsible start-up is perhaps the only exception. Otherwise, I have been actively involved with non-profits during my off hours. This was disrupted when I moved from Pittsburgh to Columbus three years ago. The non-profits I worked with in Pittsburgh were all local and by moving I broke my link with them.

I struggled to find my next volunteer opportunity for two years, considering one idea after another. Over Christmas my Father in Law suggested that I look into the Red Cross. This proved to be the direction I needed. Quickly I got involved with the Columbus Red Cross First Aid Service Team. So far this year I have worked providing first aid at seventeen varied events. Last week the Red Cross invited me to take additional training so that I can take a more senior position in the organization.

It is a relief to feel like I am giving back to the community. It is fun and important work that we do. Usually we are the first on the scene of injuries, accidents, and medical problems. It is a serious role that we play, which is good for me because I am a serious person. Free access to a variety of interesting events is a plus as is the appreciation people have for the help that we lend.

Ohio State vs Wisconsin – October 10, 2009

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Posted in: Red Cross