Why don't you volunteer?
Why don't you pencil in an hour a week, an hour a month even, to volunteer?
I don't think it is because you don't care.
You care; I think highly of you, often look up to you, so I know you must care.
Part of you anyway.
Laziness. I think even you will admit that is part of it, though no-one actually wants to claim Lazy out loud, and certainly not while others are present. It takes research, and forethought, and EFFORT. Sometimes it seems so daunting. Too much work to exert all that effort.
Time. Right. At the risk of sounding fractious, I challenge that you have just as little spare time as the gal sitting next to you, or the guy who took your order. This is America, after all, where we are greedy for time like a faded ten dollar bill we see between the rails. Work, Gym, Morning Run, Dinner with Friends, Show at the Fillmore, Homework, new Bar in the Mission, Dogs to Walk, Yoga, Farmers' Market, Grocery Shopping, Rainbow Shopping, Clothing Shopping-your birthday is coming up after all, Film Night in the Park, Writers' Group, Womens' Group, Couples' Group, Therapy, Group Therapy, Retail Therapy, Overtime, Movies, a new book, LOST, Reality TV, DVRed shows, and of course, down time. Time for you, which you deserve since life is constantly dishing it out and sometimes you need to unbuckle and relax.
For sure time, or lack thereof, is going to be near the top of the Family Feud answer box, 32 points.
And I get it, of course I get it.
But you want to know something else?
Do you want to know what I think?
The main reason?
Not in giving, because I am sure if we drew up a giving resume right now we could scrabble together a list of stuff in the past-Missionary trips in high school, feeding the homeless on Turkey Day, maybe even tutoring a fellow student.
I think it is because you grew up without ever being on the receiving end of a volunteer's time and gifts.
A Privileged Knoll
And if you aren't clear as to what a knoll is,
it's that elevated space you picnic on, that has never seen a need for canned food drives, or free tutoring to obtain a high school diploma,
a spot that does not need to be painted or cleaned up or weeded,
a home that cannot even begin to grasp an outsider delivering groceries or a stranger sitting nearby to deliver the one free thing that people are so fierce to hold onto, and that is the simple company of another warm soul.
Surely if you knew what it felt to rely on the heartfelt charity of others-and I use the word “Charity” here in the wonderful, loving sense of the word, then surely you would volunteer. Surely you would find the time.
We live in San Francisco, a city that simmers in culture and art and diversity and greatness. It is also a city teeming with people in need. Deep down I know you know how good it feels to give. It's time.