So at the beginning, in my pledge to being an engaged citizen, I committed to meeting with an elder from the community. In that I was going to offer a service of kindness and helpfulness in return for some wisdom or knowledge about life.
To be honest this was a rocky journey and I felt for most of the semester I was going out searching for these moments. At times these moments would present themselves naturally to me, and at other times I struggled finding time or a way to MAKE it happen. I wrote make in capital letters because that started to bother me. Should this process of being an engaged citizenship be a forced thing? or should it come naturally?
Anyways, as I begin to reflect I partially felt like a failure in this department of my assignment. I felt like I struggled with time and energy. So I sat back to figure out what ate up all my time and I started to giggle. Why? you ask?….. I will tell you.
Aside from my school work, travel, family and work I also volunteer my time to help others and my friends. I volunteer to: play music at places, help teachers at the school with their christmas recital preparation, help friends with fundraisers/functions, drive kids from the school to their games and activities becuase other parents are unable too.. and so on.
So what was to be the real purpose of the process of engaged citizenship? Was it to do a certain action regularly to make sure we can check off some box of – I DID THAT – or was it to open our eyes to pay attention of how we can offer time out of our lives to help others around us? To be aware of what is going on around us? To become citizens that do instead of citizens that complain that something should be done?
So I know in my heart of hearts that I am truely engaged in my community, my kids, my students, their families, people around me, my family, and being in the moment. So in that sense I feel like I have passed with flying colors!
DON’T COMPLAIN, DO!