Why “The Ignition Condition”?

When I have been thinking about what I want to blog about, the questions that have been stirring in my mind for many years now are about how and why people are moved to volunteer and/or get involved in helping their community. What are the conditions that ignite that passion, where people move beyond their day-to-day realities towards wanting to make a difference in the world? And on the opposite end, what are the conditions that curtail this desire to make a difference? If I think about the metaphor of starting a car and driving, when and why does the ignition light go on and you know that your passion is losing momentum? I write from a personal place, where I have been passionate about making a difference in the world. I was brought up writing holiday cards to prisoners of conscience for Amnesty International, inspired by my amazing grandparents who lived to help their community, both locally and globally. I started our Greenpeace student group in highschool and then volunteered as a crisis counselor at the Sexual Assault Centre during my undergrad. I have always been trying to live my life authentically and wanting to make a mark in improving this world.
Personally, it has become more and more difficult and the complex. I now have two kids and when considering my children, work can’t be just about making a difference in the world. I am considering salary as well as time commitment for work, wanting my children to be well taken care of and for me to have valuable time with them. Beyond work, it is hard to volunteer – where is the time? I am currently volunteering on a board of directors, but it is challenging. I am seeking an integrated life, where I feel happy with my balance of time divided between my paid work, volunteer work, family/kids and community/friends. I grapple on a daily basis with where I should focus my time and energy – what is the authentic decision, where can I make a difference.
I am committing myself to blogging a minimum of twice a week. I will be looking for interesting articles in the area of community and volunteer development, and I will ask a lot of questions. I hope I can find others through my blog who are thinking about these issues, and I hope this blogging will give me a structure to discipline myself to write and continue writing. I am excited and a little nervous about this new project!

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