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Volunteerism and Public Service

Be like a river in generosity and giving help. Be like a sun in tenderness and pity. Are you jealous of the ocean’s generosity? Why would you refuse to give this joy to anyone? Fish don’t hold the sacred liquid in cups! They swim the huge fluid freedom. Rumi[1]

This blog post comments on the generosity and kindheartedness of our diarists who are determined to help others in times of crisis.

In today’s world, drug addiction is a problem that affects many people. It is not a problem just for the person who is addicted to drugs, but also for those close to them. The more generous you are in the face of this crisis, the more you will be able to help those involved in drug addiction. In our September 2022 diaries, one of our diarists gives voice to the concerns of drug addiction in Muncie. And, he/she also acknowledges the fact that “the Muncie community is a generous one, willing to give of time and money to assist or otherwise lift others” (Diarist C45). In a fast-moving world, people’s willingness to leave their office for a day for public service means a lot especially when your everyday life and its moods are regulated by work clocks. Usually, our mornings are preoccupied with a sense of alertness to manage our schedule. One of our diarists expresses this alertness as a pervasive morning condition “My mornings consistently start with wondering how to organize the day” (Diarist A33). Under such circumstances, volunteerism and public service are no less than heroic deeds. Diarist C45 and his/her employer aim to “provide free-of-charge resources to combat overdoses, which have burdened local healthcare and law enforcement agencies”. The diarist also draws our attention to criticism of such volunteerism on social media that undervalues the efforts of such individuals. This criticism can not withstand your path when you are like a river in generosity and giving help. As Rumi says “With life as short as a half-taken breath, don’t plant anything but love”.

Love and affection are two very powerful forces that can help someone out of any crisis. Giving your time and energy to those who need it will make a difference. In the context of Muncie, Diarist C45 draws our attention to a precarious situation in which “addicts are most often the parent or other head of a family or household” (Diarist C45). In such a difficult situation, addicts pull down far more people than themselves. This situation signifies the inheritance of addiction from one generation to another. So, the apprehensions of drug addiction in the present time demonize the future/ yet-to-come. The people, who put their hands on the pulse of society and feel the pain, usually have empathy for their fellow beings. Motivated by such a sense of empathy, Diarist C45 expresses “Those thoughts drive me today to do what I can and give back what I can. I don’t make a large income, but am more financially comfortable than I have ever been as an adult. I’ll admit I’m lucky I can do so professionally with a not-small budget dedicated to community service” (Diarist C45).

EDLM diaries have captured people’s generosity in uplifting their community. From the early pandemic time to the arrival of Afghan neighbors in Muncie, our diaries are the archives of this sort of generosity. The people in this town give so much to those around them, and it’s not just money or time that they donate. It’s their whole selves – their time, energy, and passion. Our April 4, 2022 diaries include a brief account of local activities tied to the welcoming of Afghan refugees to Muncie.

You can read this specific diary and other diaries using the following link:

[1] Rumi. “A Quote by Rumi.” Goodreads | Meet Your Next Favorite Book, Accessed 4 Nov. 2022.

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