Love is a funny thing. Sometimes it’s a lot of work, sometimes it’s easy. I have loved a lot of people in my life and do so currently love many people. Is it love when you feel another’s heart ache? Is it love when you feel the need to hold another? What is it that makes the heart yearn? Makes the heart want to make another’s life better? Is that love? Why is it that my heart breaks? Lost opportunities, missed chances for a better life, poor decisions, different choices with different outcomes? There are so many that given the chance I want to love them. I want to comfort them, to hold them close, to give them relief from their daily chaotic lives. I want them to experience peace amidst the turmoil. I’m not enough to give to all that I want to give. But I do. I break off a piece of my heart and I let them take it with them. Hoping, always hoping, in the process that I’ve somehow made their lives better. Funny, though I give so much of myself, I still feel whole, actually more complete than if I’d been stingy and kept it all for myself. It hurts though. The pain is so real. To give and not be accepted or not be enough. I’m just a small spark hoping to start a fire in those I choose to love. I know they can’t take all of me but I wish so much to give each one that I love every last bit of me. I want for them to see possibilities, to dream without fear. I want for them to live and to love again, or maybe even for the first time. The young woman who never had a childhood, the young man who is trying to support his family. The older gentleman who is bitter. I want to love them. If only I knew how… I have to love me first, if I don’t first take care of myself I’m of no use to anyone else. On the darker side, there are those I choose not to love. Not because they aren’t deserving but because loving them is too hard. Loving them hurts too much and so I block them out. I give them nothing of me. Those that aren’t willing to let me share my heart with others don’t get a part. They are stingy and selfish. Yet, they still own a part, a tiny part, that waits. Waits to be sparked, carefully, hopefully, yet hiding deep inside of me, not willing to be revealed. That hidden love stays hidden so that I don’t lose myself completely. Without love I am nothing, and love that isn’t shared is wasted.
To you, reader, I freely give you what little I have, thank you for reading,
The past three weeks I have been volunteering at the 2013 National Boy Scout Jamboree. I had to be there early for training. I was trained as a level 2 guide on the Big Zips. Training included at least ten hours a day for six days finishing off with a practical test with a mid line lower rescue and two written exams. Despite the difficult work it was completely worth every second. The group of people I was blessed to work with ranged in age from late teens to early sixties. They were hard working smart individuals, we were a bunch of misfits who finally found our place together. We ached, we were exhausted, we had blisters on our feet, we were sunburned, we were rained on and we were stuck in the sun, but we never quit and we never gave up. We were trained by an amazing team who believed in us more than we did. When it was time for the kids to arrive we weren’t sure we were ready but we were. There were too few of us but we stayed on top of each other, making sure our new friends and family were well taken care of. We stood up for each other. We became an amazing team.
The boys and girls arrived and we were able to give them a wonderful adventure and we were able to ensure that no one was hurt. We harnessed each guest and we double checked each other. We sent them flying down the zip knowing that they would reach the other side. We caught them at the brakes and we sent them on their way, all without much disruption. Their faces at the top, the huge eyes and the tremble in their voices, followed by the giant smiles at the landing and the nonstop excitement as they left us, these were the reasons we worked so hard and why we volunteered our time and money. We got to see these boys and girls accomplish something they never imagined possible. Each and everyone walked away with a lighter step.
Because of people like those in my group the jamboree was able to host over forty thousand people. Without volunteers like us none of this would have happened. Next time I plan on being there and next time I hope you will be there too. The youth will hugely benefit but not just them. You and I will also benefit. We will be there when they smile and when they cry and we will be able to show them that “yes, they can do this”. We will be their cheer leaders and because of volunteers like us they will see something possible and they will walk away knowing that they have accomplished something to be proud of, something not easy but doable. They will leave with a renewed sense of self worth and they will keep that with them in their hearts for the rest of their lives.
Thank you for reading,