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Tuesday, 9 October 2012

ON 'FRIENDSHIP', 'SHARING' AND 'CARING'

It was a quote from Bille Baty on Twitter that made me start thinking about this, thanks Bille............................................... "A friend is a second self. ~Cicero (106 BC - 43 BC)"

There was once a time when this statement was totally true, but sadly not so true these days. It is too easy to click that button on Facebook that says 'Friend' and think that is all it takes.

It's the same with sharing. There was a day when sharing meant sharing the food off your plate, the clothes off your back, the money in your pocket, but now? 'Sharing' hardly exists, even though it is another very simple click on a button on Facebook.


As for caring, well, we'll see shall we?



How's about printing this poster and putting it up anywhere that you
think it might be seen?


Why is this my rant of the day?


Well, of late we have been 'Sharing' posters and information about the projects we have here in Romania with orphaned, underprivileged and special needs children, and our mission to put smiles on those children's faces.

Over the past year we have had some success at doing just that. Volunteers came from all over the world last year to be a part of it, and, for most, it was a wonderful time, full of fun, full of laughter, full of smiles, and some showed a true and lasting commitment.
At the moment though we need to spread the word, 'Share' the message to try and get a similar number of people here next year, hence using the social media to try and get our message out. We would rather spend what little funding we do have directly to benefit the children than see it disappear in a costly advertising campaign. So, we rely entirely on the social media to actually get the message out there and we rely on those 'Friends' we have on that media to share it and shout it out as far as they can.
So many volunteers who came said about how much they loved it here, so many went
 "with a Romania shaped hole in their hearts that could only be filled by returning"
So many went away promising to 'Share' the message about what we do here in Romania, so many insisted on 'Friending' us so that they could keep in touch and do that 'Sharing'.

It is easy to be a part of a small project like this, stay for a few weeks, create a few smiles, and then leave, thinking you have made a difference to those children. In those few weeks, a difference has been made, but for it to be a real difference that lasts those children a lifetime it needs to continue after people leave. Living here, seeing it every day, I realize how important that 'Sharing' and truly 'Caring' afterwards becomes.


It's fair enough if next time that these people go away they want to spread their wings further, try different things. It is also understandable that the money just isn't out there for some people to return as much as they want to, but it takes a micro-second to hit that 'Share' button, as had been promised before those people left, and by doing so continuing with that commitment they expressed before they left.


We've done this arithmetic before, one 'Share' to five followers, each of those clicks 'Share' to five more followers, each of those does the same, etc, etc, and within seconds, the message is spread far and wide and at some point will land with someone who does 'Care', who does want to commit, who does want to come to Romania and create those smiles that we all love to see on the children's faces. 



Maybe that's it. 

Is it possible that those who have been here have found it be such a special part of their lives that they don't want it to be sullied by the thought of others coming and doing the same?



Surely not. 
Surely that isn't what 'commitment' means?
It isn't just simple human jealousy is it? 
It can't be true, even for an old cynic like me this is just too much to contemplate, too sad an indictment of the human psyche. Is it really that seeing a picture we post of another volunteer, holding a smiling child who you know, would break your heart? 
Could it really be that difficult seeing that child having a special time with someone else? 
What about what it is doing for the child?

Could it really be just simple human jealousy?


Oh I hope not, I really do hope so much that jealousy isn't it.


I hope that 'commitment' and 'caring' go further than that, a lot further.


So, I will end by apologizing for this rant to those of you to whom it doesn't apply, but there are so many, such a disappointing number to whom it does apply.


To those, please tell me I'm wrong, please show me I'm wrong


Just show that you do 'Care'...............................click 'Share'



Steve


www.volunteerromia.co.uk



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