Work for free?

Kelly - Nashville, Tennessee
Entered on October 9, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: work

I believe in hard work for nothing. Well, no pay that is. Some of the hardest jobs that I have ever done were for free. Ironically, they are the greatest paying jobs of all. I’ve sweat long hot days taking out trash and cleaning the bathrooms at a summer camp. I have gotten home tired and sore from helping my brother dig up old bushes from his backyard. I have strained my neck helping my cousin paint his soon to be born daughter’s bedroom. I have nursed swollen knees after moving a good friend’s entire life from his old apartment to his new house.

There is a reason that giving is better than receiving. It is a great feeling to know that I helped someone or saved someone money and hassle. Pride is not something I can charge on the plastic card in my wallet. At the end of the day when I am standing over a finished project, I feel proud when I look over at my cousin, my brother, or my friend because they have the same satisfaction shimmering in their smile as I do.

The jobs that pay the bills are necessary. We need the income for food and shelter, but a job that provides income and nothing else is an unsatisfying job for the spirit. A job like that, with no supplemental happiness, will lead to a downhearted future. These are professions that will never encourage me to work as hard as I do when I am helping someone who needs it. The real trick is to merge the satisfaction-work with putting the food on the table. My merging place like that is at Camp Marymount in Nashville, Tennessee. I work there part time, and volunteer when spare moments call for it. I’m not the only one either. Friends who worked there years ago (and still current employees) volunteer their time when they can.

I’ve got other ambitions in life, but I will keep on spending my spare time on efforts to make people believe that we aren’t as selfish as we act sometimes. Every chance I get to make something easier for someone, I’ll do my best to take it. There is some criticism as to why I spend all of my time at some summer camp when they aren’t paying me for all of my hours. I brush such complaints off of my shoulder because it is without a doubt the happiest that I have ever been—working out at that camp. I encourage everybody to go find their camp, go find their happiness, and go work hard.