Days without burden
CHARU SHARMA shares her experience of volunteering for a book launch tour in the UK and the difference it has brought about in her attitude and approach to work itself.
Last summer I had the opportunity of volunteering for the launch and promotion of a book. It started out with administrative work, responding to emails and data entry of guests registering for the various book launch events across the UK. As the event dates drew closer, the fervor increased. Emails were pouring in all the time, and I was also responding to queries through WhatsApp, Facebook and phone calls. Soon I found myself working within a team of volunteers who were doing multiple tasks dealing with the logistics for each venue. It was a network of volunteers functioning smoothly, dedicatedly, quietly (for the most part!) and blissfully.
While glued to my computer with the task of registration, hours blended into days and nights, breakfast-lunchdinner-teatime sometimes blended into one meal, all of this happening without my noticing it. The one thing that I did feel all along was a continuous Transmission flowing, as uninterrupted as the work that I was doing.
After the book launch tour ended, I sat back and reflected, realizing with astonishment the amount of work I had been able to do tirelessly without so much as thinking about it or my ability to do it. It was something that consciously I would not have had the nerve to take up. I also realized that I had been able to get along beautifully with a large number of volunteers, which again I didn’t think myself capable of doing.
These volunteering days without burden changed me permanently. Initially I struggled to get back into regular work after this short, intense period last summer. Now that I’ve readjusted to working life, I find that I’m handling it in a lighter way and not taking things to heart as I did in the past. I still look for perfection in everything and everyone, but I can see myself expecting it and then I realize that it’s my mistake. I am ever thankful for this amazing opportunity to volunteer, and I rejoice at the thought of the many volunteers who avail of such opportunities.
Even as I continue to reflect upon it, these words come to mind:
No burden of anger or justification of an old anger,
nor of owing something to someone,
nor the guilt of a job not done.
Travel each day, lighter than before,
and before you realize it, you are flying.
And this lightness is very bearable, ever enjoyable!
It becomes a state of being.