For the past eight years of my life I have studied and worked to become a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Advisor. Four years in college followed by four years in the workplace. If you were to ask me what the highlights of my life have been over the past eight years, you would probably expect me to mention those qualifications right? Well no, these would not be considered my highlights.
Instead, I would tell you that the best memories and highlights I have had over those years was my time involved working as a volunteer leader in a summer camp that catered for kids across Ireland, many of whom came from disadvantaged areas.
The memories, skills and life experiences I acquired during this time are hard to put into words. What I can say is that the enjoyment I got from working alongside passionate like-minded individuals and meeting a range of youths all with different backgrounds and stories every year was like a breath of fresh air. It served to remind me that this kind of work is what is really important in life. Not balancing accounts, preparing tax returns or making rich people richer!
Yes – we all work to to pay the bills and volunteer work doesn’t reward us financially. BUT by becoming involved with extracurricular activities, the aim being to help others, we can add a whole new dimension to our lives and get rewarded in much deeper and personal ways. While these places may lack financial rewards, they more than make up for it through self-development, self-fulfilment and that hard to describe feeling you get when you know you have made a positive difference to someone’s life.
I’ll never get tired of the well known quote “only by helping others can we truly help ourselves”. I know exactly what this means. I have experienced it. Go out there and be the change that society needs. I can guarantee you will be surprised at what you get in return.