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Old 03-23-2017, 07:55 PM
643 posts, read 1,481,090 times
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I found when I was at the lowest, most confused point of my life, with little direction, helping people in the most dire of situations, paradoxically set things right for us both, and has forever changed me.

I have always believed in, and been a volunteer. I believe in true altruism; that being needful acts done with no quid pro quo, no volunteer high, simply a duty rendered because of need. I think mitzvah is a good way to understand this. Here I was at 46, going through a terrible divorce from an adulterous wife, unemployed, going to get booted from my home, and watching my daughter suffer unimaginable pain. I had no direction, no goals, and no hope. Now where this leads to...

I was at a local Sears, looking to buy new clothes for interviewing, and saw a sign up sheet for hospice volunteers. One position was for tending to veterans, and at that instant I knew this was it. As many of you may believe, vets get the shaft time after time, and I have seen this first hand, being a vet myself. I applied for the position, was accepted, went through training, and was ready for my first assignment. Folks I told about this, thought I had gone mad; "This will put you over the edge", "my God, how depressing"... I saw clearly how it really is... Wave flags at parades to be seen, sponsor something for the advertising, step over a homeless vet, wearing your flag pin. Of course not all are like this, but...The real nitty-gritty stuff need goes unfilled, and this was a chance to change this. I figured what could be more needed, than to help them exit this world with respect, dignity, and even hope. As I would find out, this job taught me more than I could have imagined, and was completely the polar opposite of depressing.

Some of these vets were dropped off at various facilities by family, as if a pet at a shelter, and they knew they would never see them again. Not exactly a nice situation to be in, awaiting your destiny with the great unknown. Many of these people lived quiet, stoic lives, but down very deep, wounds of what they did, and saw, never telling anyone festered. Allowing these people a non-judgmental catharsis, the spilling of terrible war time secrets even their spouses never knew near the end, gave them hope. I know it sounds crazy, but if you witness this, you know it's truth. It's beautiful and inspiring to see hope, with what would seem hopeless. It changes, teaches, and humbles you.

Just having a pal to be one of the guys, talk military shop, be heard, tell tales and stories from long ago, and yes, even holding their hand was all they needed before passing in peace... They just wanted to go out like soldiers.

My point with all of this; I believe service to others, can give you purpose, redefine your perspective, and help you see goals you may not even know exist. Doing something profoundly out of your comfort zone, against conventional wisdom, not in step with others, can be a framework for this service. What I wrote is my testament to this, and perhaps give you something to consider. If you stayed with this post, thanks for your time, and good luck OP.

P.S. Be easy and kind to yourself; you can have the goal, of not having any, and be just fine. Life need not be a list crossed out.
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Old 03-27-2017, 07:14 AM
4,105 posts, read 3,218,112 times
Reputation: 8895
Originally Posted by limbo24 View Post
I don't really have anything to add to the thread title. I simply want an answer to that one question. If you're wondering why I want an answer, it's because I almost find myself in that boat a this point. Really, save for 1 hope and 2 dreams, I'm basically burnt out of both and not striving for anything anymore.
I think perhaps you've answered your own question: 'burnt out.'

You may need to relax, recharge, refresh yourself, in any way that seems best to you.
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Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

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