…so shines a good deed in a naughty world, are the words Shakespeare voiced through the beautiful mouth of his Portia, over 400 years ago. Perhaps nothing but masterful wording back then, these verses have grown in amplitude with the passage of time, like ripples on the surface of a pond. Nowadays, a good deed would be better likened to a lighthouse than to a candle, so much more troublesome it is to find one and, thus, so much more brilliant its light. What humanity must learn is the incommensurable value of offering without expecting anything in return – the value of volunteering.
This concept may seem difficult to grasp, taking into consideration the way society shapes our values: Why should we do anything for free? Why not take advantage of the service we provide? – such questions will inevitably be raised. Pragmatism is instilled into our blood from so young an age that working for financial reasons seems clearly more desirable than an act lacking any apparent finality. But how can one even measure the significance of lending a helping hand and, moreover, compare it to a sum of money? The motherless child, his eyes ablaze with hopefulness? The feeble, yet gratitude-filled handshake of the grandmother when she is brought a loaf of bread? The sight of a road repaired, a bicycle fixed, a tree planted, a new life sprouting from our very hands? I refuse to see unconditional help as hailing from the realm of Utopia, or as a means of obtaining any utilitarian recognition: diplomas, certificates and the like. Volunteering is possible for absolutely everyone with but a pinch of willingness; one needs not to look further than one’s own neighbour to hear that cry for help. It is astonishingly easy, close and immediate. Furthermore, it is priceless.
The conviction that state would not exist without people and their interactions dates back to the writings of Plato or Socrates. Our very universe would collapse instantly in its futility, were it not for the humans poising it. The world can be effortlessly envisioned as a dew-spangled cobweb – fragile, yet superb. Every charitable achievement is a raindrop adorning its synergetic net and we are the ones holding it in our hands. We are the ones to weave it – to cherish it. What nobler purpose to life than being there for others? Why merely “live and let live” when, by volunteering, we can “live and help live”?
One too many times have the hardheaded said that an individual or a small group cannot make a difference… One can only toss one’s head back and laugh; when have the masses concocted anything positive? All great ideas were born at the core of scanty groups with grand ideals. Volunteering is the way each and every one of us can thoroughly help society, can take hold of the spider web and embellish it… And, if given the chance, why miss it?
Acest eseu este castigatorul premiului I in cadrul 2011 Shakespeare School Essay Competition, grupa de varsta 15-19 ani, avand ca tema rolul si importanta voluntariatului. Premiul a constat intr-o scoala de vara de limba engleza de 2 saptamani (17-31 iulie 2011) in Anglia la Oxford, oferita de agentia de turism educational Mirunette International Education, un cadou surpriza din partea librariei Carturesti, carti si rucsac Cambridge University Press, oferit de Fischer International, un card de reducere oferit de Puma si un cadou din partea Reprezentantei Comisiei Europene in Romania. Dorim sa o felicitam pe Miruna pentru faptul ca s-a evidentiat din peste 5100 de eseuri trimise la concursul national de creatie in limba engleza organizat de Shakespeare School si ii uram mult succes in continuare!