The Golden Rule used to be displayed in schools and many other public places when I was young. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is a motto I have tried to follow through the years.
I grew up in a time when people helped each other and didn’t expect anything in return–a time when you could make a purchanse for a penny and when most people had no car or telephone. Helping yourself and others was an accepted way-of-life.
I started volunteering by helping the teacher
clean the blackboard and erasers after school, and I helped tutor a girl that was nearly blind, with her math in eighth grade. In high school I volunteered for the Junior Red Cross, rolling bandages, and knitting afghan squares to keep soldiers warm. I gave blood, and even sewed stripes on a soldier’s uniform at the U.S.O. in the train station one New Years Eve.
After I married and had my family, I continued to volunteer by becoming a Den Mother and Brownie leader, after I arrived home from work. I found many opportunities to help others by volunteering through the years.
When we moved to a lake home, about ten miles out of a small Minnesota town in the early ’80s, I was busier than ever. I even worked part time for R.S.V.P. (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) signing up people for volunteer opportunities in our region. After retiring, I was elected president of the local senior federation serving seven counties in our area, and through that aided in establishing many programs to help, not only seniors but others in need.
Health care became one of our primary concerns and I was on the boards of many organizations. I was the consumer representative on the Minnesota Medicare Carrier Advisory Committee, and appointed by our Govenor to represent our region on the Minnesota Care board.
I believe that many of the younger seniors seem to be more interested in making money, than in helping others by volunteering. I fear they will miss the feeling of inner joy brought on by seeing a successful program established with the help of their contribution as a volunteer.
I will soon turn eighty and am still doing unto others as a volunteer. I trust that if I should need help in the future, there will be someone there to apply “The Golden Rule”.
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