Written by
Katarzyna Kubat-Eijeriks

Katarzyna Kubat-Eijeriks

Show what you owe

The longer I live, the more aware I become that it’s a matter of circumstances that I am where I am today.

I have a good job, a nice family, time for a hobby etc. Some would say, it’s a matter of luck or God’s will. If I was born in an environment, where education was not important, if I had a different skin color, if I was growing up in a country without democracy, there are so many factors that have shaped my present situation! I consider them a gift, therefore, I feel obliged to return what I’ve been given. It’s the philosophy of a mature ownership that speaks to me: when you possess something, you need to use it responsibly and act accordingly. That’s what owners do, when they realize that collecting in itself has no purpose – but the real use of the property is when it’s shared. Nothing in this world exists for itself. Sun shines to provide light and warmt, cars exist to transport people etc. This obligation of a responsible use is embedded in the assets, no matter if they’re physical or non-material.

Why share? Either it’s your wealth, your natural talent, your corporal potential – it’s something you’ve received. Some call it a blessing. Some other a resource. A competence. A feature. Given by God/fate/genotype – whatever. Believe in what you want but admit that not everything is a result of your effort and own doing – you’re just lucky, e.g. to meet a person, who pushed you to study. You’re lucky to avoid being severely injured in an accident and therefore staying fit. You are where you are now because good things have happened to you aka bad things didn’t happen to you. And they did happen to many people around us, to many kids, men and women, who aren’t as lucky as we are.

That’s why I’m for sharing the resources we have with the unlucky ones. We just need to do it smart: in a balanced way. Extremism is not good also in a voluntary work. Hyperactive giving yourself away by spending all your time, wisdom, energy, money etc. on a pro publico bono task will burn you out fast. On the other hand, covetously sitting on your resources turns you into Gollum, a miserable, lonely and dependent entity. It’s the golden middle of the balanced help that nourishes yourself. Being involved in doing something good makes your humanity evolve. Your sensitivity. Your empathy. Your understanding of the world. Your appreciation of yourself and of other people. Your existential need to mean something. You get more relaxed and don’t fight about petty things. It supports achieving all the beautiful things that your non-physical side is reaching for. Denying yourself this development can hurt you. If not now (because you’re very young and focused on collecting) – then later when you’ve aged a bit and realized that life’s a bit more than what you can accumulate. Products. Food. Partners. Employers. Info on a resume, diplomas on your wall, medals on your shelf. It’s cool that you’ve collected a lot. Congratulations. Now move on to the sharing level – this way you can pay a debt you’ve incurred.

Giving your time, know-how and energy is easy. Everybody has something to offer. Just define what you’re good at, what interests you and how much time per a week/month/quarter you’re willing to spend on sharing it without disturbing your regular work-home-hobby schedule. Lack of time is a nonsense – we decide what we have the time for, not the other way around. Personally, I know that for example a daily volunteering as a home-work assistant to a kid, who has trouble with learning isn’t a project for me. Neither are animals. I strongly avoid what I find a highly traumatizing environment, e.g. child oncology. But I have time on few evenings a month and once a while at the weekend. As a talkative girl, I can be of help via phone too. I’m useful in supporting teams in managing their organizations, because I’m experienced in running a large household on my own. I like to coordinate short-term projects and as an English-speaking person I can reach out to a multicultural community. I love to be surrounded by people thinking, talking and looking differently than me, so the time spent on doing a voluntary work for discriminated foreigners is my pleasure and a great adventure I want to live.

As the summer holiday is about to end and we’ll be settling in a regular work-home-hobby schedule it’s good to think about community involvement. I don’t know what you can do but I’m pretty sure there’s somebody who can use it. Good luck in finding them!

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