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The spirit, power of volunteers are among underlying strengths of America
The Paris Post-Intelligencer ^ | 5/29/2016 | Arthur Smith

Posted on 04/29/2016 7:23:50 PM PDT by molewhacka

The festivities and activities of this week are a reminder of the spirit and power of volunteers — one of the underlying strengths of America.

Whether it be the World’s Biggest Fish Fry, Helping Hands, ministries, youth organizations or any of the other numerous activities in which local folks band together and give of our resources to help causes in which we personally believe, or people in need of our personal assistance, it is the voluntary opening of our hearts, wallets and calendars that make a community more than just a common ZIP code.

Volunteering is not, of course, unique to Americans, but Americans do it better and bigger than any other nation currently on the face of the globe.

Doubtless, part of the reason for this is the foundation of freedom that enables us to earn and grow – empowering us, in turn, to give generously to others.

These United States of America were not born out of a dictator or cabal wrestling for personal power and enrichment.

America was founded by those with true servant hearts — who truly did give their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor in a cause greater than themselves.

In fact, many leaders and stalwarts in the early days of our nation paid great material and personal prices as a direct result of volunteering.

The same is true today. Our greatness is found in those who serve in everything from our all-volunteer military to those who change the diapers of precious babies in the church nursery.

The strength of America has never been our government, and certainly not the majority of our politicians and other leaders of the establishment.

The strength (or weakness) of any nation is found in its people.

Incumbent politicians like to walk at the head of parades or movements as if they are the ones who actually did the leading that made it all happen.

They are quick to associate themselves with the success of others (politicians take our stuff, keep a chunk of it for themselves, dole out large portions to their donors or “base,” “grant” a small portion back to us and then expect us to thank and applaud them — just look at all of their photo ops and press releases — what’s up with that?), and conversely, disassociate themselves from failures — a large portion of which can actually be attributed to their credit!

The real heroes, however — the ones who deserve the honor and accolades at the head of the parade — typically are too busy working behind the scenes to make it all happen.

They are the ones who make America great. Yet, even if we see them in passing, seldom do we recognize that they are the reason why the rest of us can enjoy and benefit from the fruit of their labor.

All too often, we are a society that fixates on celebrities, be they famous or infamous. Let’s face it; there is not much glamor in organizing activities or cleaning up after everyone else has left.

Such work will not get you any endorsement contracts and is not likely to lead to TV interviews. But without such people, our communities and our lives would be much the lesser.

If you do get the chance to talk to the volunteers and thank them for their service, you likely will receive a heartfelt response as they relate how much of a pleasure it is to serve and how much they personally gain in so doing.

And they are not just being humble — though humility is a common characteristic of volunteers — as they experientially have come to understand the joy of giving.

In the midst of all that is going on in the world, whether election politics or national and international turmoil, it can be easy to lose sight of the good things that are present in our lives and the good people who strive to make those good things a reality.

I am not saying we should ignore the bad stuff, for doing so only increases the risk that bad people doing bad stuff will inevitably restrict, or even destroy, our freedom to do good stuff.

What I am saying is that we all will be far better off personally and as a community if we follow the example of the volunteers in our midst.

In some ways, life is like a tug-of-war. The more people who grab a hold of the rope and pull in the right direction, the easier it is for everyone on the team, and the greater the likelihood the team will actually succeed.

Those who founded our nation profoundly understood the impact of working from the bottom up, as well as the dangers of dictating from the top down.

They clearly understood that society is best served by first having our reliance in God and secondly in us, the people. This principle was firmly established at our nation’s founding.

From the U.S. Constitution’s preamble to the 10th Amendment and those that follow, it is abundantly evident that “we the people” volunteer to grant government authority to protect our God-given freedom on our behalf, and it is “we the people” who retain the right to withdraw that consent.

Service to others is a key ingredient to securing the blessings of liberty. Government does not and can not build strong communities or stronger people.

With God’s grace and guidance, we, the people can do those things, and it is for that reason that we must retain the power over our government, our communities and our own lives.

Find a worthy cause and volunteer to serve. Help keep America great and our communities blessed!

TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: volunteering
The author correlates volunteering with liberty.
1 posted on 04/29/2016 7:23:50 PM PDT by molewhacka
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To: molewhacka

I do not correlate volunteering with Liberty, but I do appreciate that free people may volunteer IF THEY WISH.

This article hits on a huge peeve of mine: the fact that our elected representatives call themselves our “leaders”. They may lead some committee or even some branch within the govt, but they are sure as hell not my leader!

2 posted on 04/30/2016 6:30:26 AM PDT by Dr. Pritchett
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To: Dr. Pritchett

No argument from me.

I used to think most politicians just wait for the crowd to form and then jump in front. Now I think they just ask themselves, how can I use this to generate cash?

3 posted on 04/30/2016 6:34:01 AM PDT by molewhacka
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