DISCLAIMER: This is a ‘Fictional’ post. Now, I’m not going to lie, I was really tempted on giving this prompt a miss. But, I realised that this was a challenge. And good things typically come from challenges, so I give you this piece! This definitely is amongst one of my favourites 🙂
This post was inspired by ‘The Daily Post‘ October 22nd Prompt – Volunteer. Enjoy!
3:33PM: ‘This is a difficult one!’
“Wait, how long did you say you’ve been coming here for?” He asked.
“For years… why? It’s not really that surprising is it?
“Well, kinda yeah… I mean, no one at school really likes you. But yet, you’re here keeping elderly people company. Sorry, I’m coming off rude aren’t I?”
“Haha, kind of… but I enjoy coming here. See what I’ve realised is that here, people need me. And as you rightedly pointed out earlier, I kind of need them…”
“Fair enough, but… I don’t get it. If you told people at school… you’d be a lot more popular.”
“But, I don’t do volunteer work for the recognition. And I feel like if I told people that I do this, I feel like I’d lose what I fell in love in the first place. These people, the activity of doing selfless things and for people that need you, and the feeling I leave with, knowing that I’ve somehow made a difference in people’s lives.”
There was a long pause before I spoke again, “But, that doesn’t explain why you’re here though?”
I saw the look in his face change, his eyes suddenly filled with sorrow. The smile that was previously on his face, had now been pursed together as he looked down and kicked his shoes against the wooden floor. It was like he remembered why he was here in the first place. And it saddened me to realise that he wasn’t here for the same reason as I was. Suddenly, I couldn’t help but feel guilty. It was then that I realised that I shouldn’t push further.
“It’s just.. my Grandad. He has dementia and now it has gotten to the point where he can’t remember us at all. And it saddens me to think that every day he gets one step closer to losing his mind completely. It kills me to think that I can’t do anything to make it better, for him, for my family… and for me.”
“You put yourself last too much…” I stated observantly.
“How do you know that?”
“Because when you were talking about wanting to make his situation better… you put yourself last. Meaning that you don’t really think about yourself, unless you think about everyone else first. You should take time out, and do more things for you. It might stop you from going insane,” I chuckled.
“You know, you’re nicer than I thought you were…”
“And you’re a whole lot more selfless than I thought you were…”
“I’m Ben.” He extended his hand, gesturing for me to shake it.
“I’m Claudia.” I returned the hand shake.
You know, it was funny… even though I do volunteer work, and I’m used to seeing acts of kindness happen all around me, all of the time. Today, I saw ‘selflessness’ that wasn’t in the form of charity work… it was in the form of love and the bond shared between people. And I couldn’t help the smile that crept upon my face at this thought.