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Keeping Up With The (insert name here)

America has long been about keeping up the Joneses - who the Joneses were, we'll never know - likely no one in particular - and after a very casual Google search am coming to conclusion that these notorious Joneses never existed and the phrase just became about what at one time must have been a very popular name in the states. And yes, for those of you who are younger, the phrase was around long before the movie with Gal Gadot, Jon Hamm, Isla Fisher, & Zach Galifinakis (and you haven't seen it, it's a light, fun quirky movie about life in the 'burbs). Then a certain celebrity

family coopted the phrase and made a kazillion dollars with it - raising the expectations of many, many...many people to unrealistic proportions. But that's not what this is about...exactly.

Better cars, better lawns, better holiday decorations...better entryways, better pantries, better organizational systems...better wardrobes, better trainers, better stylists...better houses, better schools, better...everything - we've got such a competitive culture dripping with exhausted people striving for things to fill empty buckets, as it were - to show that their things are bigger, better, faster more - and we could examine the whys for years.

But why can't we do that with charity and charitable works? Why doesn't that get more play? Why don't we do more to celebrate those who DO more - those who GIVE more (and I'm not talking about just stroking a check) - those who don't ask or expect the recognition - but just do it because they are compelled to do good things?

I assume most school systems around the country have some kind of volunteer requirement in place, which is nice, but feels somehow like it falls short. The kids are doing it because they have to - it's a means to an end - whether it's financial assistance, or simply the chance to walk across the stage at commencement. But what's that teaching them? That we give to get?

Yes, yes - there are organizations who honor their volunteers - especially the ones that do stroke big fat checks - and I've worked in non-profit long enough to understand why and know why it's done. Typically other volunteers are often acknowledged in adjacency - those who put in the time and the talent rather than just the treasure, but they're typically not the headliners. Don't get me wrong - non-profits need all kinds of supporters - and the generosity of those who are able and willing to share their wealth are always invaluable. I don't mean to diminish them in any way.

Personally, as I scroll through my social media feeds and I see so many people doing truly good work, and proud to share the results of their work, or simply raise awareness for their causes - that's what gets me wondering what more I can do. I'll donate a few things...I'll see someone providing supplies for the homeless. I'll start a drive to collect items...I see someone help building a house. I'll go help build a house - I see someone fostering children. This is one "keeping up with..." I wish we'd see more of.

There is always more to do, and we can always do a little more. And yes, we have to strike a balance. Each of us can't feed the world, or adopt every pet, or save every life - we do have our own responsibilities to attend to - but everyone can always do one more thing.

To those of who for whom service to others is a way of life - I applaud you. To those of you who give and give...and give some more - I thank you. To those of you who haven't quite gotten there yet - I invite you.

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Apr 03, 2022

That's bee a life-long wonder for me as well.... Why are there so fewer who WILL do than those who will not.... I have always found my volunteer service to be quite rewarding for me personally, as well as for those who I serve... It just makes me feel good to help others and be part of the solution, one of the people who makes life better for another... I don't understand why everyone doesn't feel that satisfaction.

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