The philosopher Aristotle called virtue the middle between two extremes, which arise from excess or lack.
The ability to go through the “royal path” of moderation is a thing that I really missed when I was a volunteer at the Children’s Clinical Hospital.
For the sake of justice, it is worth noting that this is not enough for many people involved in charity.
One famous actress told how a student came to practice in one of the orphanages.
Almost immediately the maternal instinct woke up in her, and she began to embrace all the orphans.
To which the experienced teacher immediately told her: “Never do that again.
They will get used to caress, you will leave, and we will continue to live with them. ”
The main problem of a volunteer who communicates with children is very similar to the teachers’ one.
It is necessary to maintain smooth, friendly relations with the wards and not to cross certain boundaries.
Suppose you can only go to the hospital once a week for a few hours.
During this time, it is possible to do something very specific.
To study or computer basics, play with two or three children, talk.
It’s impossible to solve the psychological problems of children and their parents in two hours a week.
Let alone “become their own mother,” as Carlson said.
In theory, it all sounds very simple, but in practice, even being a teacher by training, I stuffed myself a lot of bumps.
The fact is that many volunteers perceive the hospital as a place of horror and suffering.
And subconsciously want to compensate the children for what they are deprived of — communication with peers.
Freedom of movement, the same mobile phones, since a lot of money is spent on medications and frequent or long stays in the hospital.
As a result, attachments arise, and a volunteer can become a “specialist in all matters”.
He begins to collect money for treatment, although it is not his task, begins to take computers to other cities for his charges and spend his own money or collect other people’s money in order to give the child an iPhone.
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In the end, a treacherous idea creeps into your head that humanity in your person is guilty of something before these children and their parents.
A believer can even begin to ask God to send him sorrows in order to “catch up” with his charges in the measure of suffering.
As soon as a person has these desires, he should immediately consult with the confessor.
The leader of the volunteer group or the psychologist.
Otherwise, emotional exaltation may arise.
And the volunteer will begin to live not with his life, but with the life of his charges.
I was convinced from my own experience that such a transfer is not needed neither by children, nor by me.
At the hospital, patients can talk about their illness with each other.
Receive a portion of pity and comfort from their peers or parents.
From a person “from the side,” it’s rather necessary to say that life is not limited to the walls of the hospital.
That the child’s value is not in his illness or health, but in what he is.
Of course, you shouldn’t force to run a hundred-meter stroller.
But for the rest, activities with children should not contain discounts for their illness.
Yes, there are rules, and a volunteer should take into account medical recommendations.
But there can be no lightened Russian language course.
Unfortunately, I did not immediately come to these discoveries.
Some time after I started going to the RCCH, I had attachments and I went to celebrate New Year in another city with one of the children.
I cannot say that this step was a mistake, on the contrary, after that incident I finally became convinced of my right to privacy.
The right to study at the institute, communicate with my friends, and lead a normal life.
Without telling everyone I met about what I do in my free time.
My requests for sending sorrows ended at the moment when I suffered a spinal injury.
At that moment, everything fell into place, and it came to the realization that a person is responsible only for his life and the lives of people close to him.
That he cannot divide the whole world into those who help sick children and those who do not.
Freedom from illusions was very painful and ended with the fact that I ceased to be a volunteer.
I am grateful to fate for the fact that in my life there was an instructive period for me.
Until very recently I had contacts with children who had already grown up and it is possible that someday my volunteer experience will resume.
And the last. During my stay at the RCCH, there were people who left there very quickly.
At the same time, I knew volunteers who began their ministry with classes with children.
But then they created their own funds and dedicated their lives to raising funds for expensive medicines and other assistance to people with a specific diagnosis.
Of course, I do not blame them for it, but I don’t have admiration for them. In the end, each has its own fate.
The main thing is that the choice of one person does not become a burden for others.
If someone dedicated his life to volunteering, he should have been ready for the world not to carry it on his hands.
And not to demand from others to also devote his life to voluntary help to the needy.