It’s that time of year again.
The time when, amid the frenzy of clearing your desk before the long break, going to parties, attending school speech nights and buying Christmas presents, you might be reflecting on what you did during the past year and what you can do differently in the next.
If you are, you’re in good company. During the Christmas and New Year season, many of us discover an itch to change something in our lives.
Sometimes, that ‘something’ is easy to identify and turns into a specific goal such as finding a new job, buying a new house or travelling overseas.
Very often, however, it’s the feeling, possibly a little vague and hard to define, that you want to make your life better somehow, find a new challenge or contribute something to the world.
If that sounds like you and you don’t know where to begin, here is an idea.
Go out and get involved in your local community.
Wherever you live, there are organisations near you that need your enthusiasm and energy.
We’re talking about the service clubs and other groups that are widespread in our suburbs and towns. The ones that raise money with sausage sizzles, quiz nights and raffles. The ones that hold their weekly or monthly meetings in golf clubs, hotel restaurants and community halls.
They have an abundance of ideas, aspirations and commitment.
What they lack are the arms and legs to make things happen. Many are desperate for more men and women, young or old, to sign up.
It’s likely that a short drive from your home or office, a service club is helping teenagers develop vocational skills, providing driver training courses, running outdoor education camps, protecting the environment or supporting a school in a developing nation.
There are volunteer groups who care for local parks, creeks and lakes. Others who help with a range of activities in libraries, community centres and schools.
Those are just some examples of the types of organisations you can choose from.
All of them do valuable work that makes our society richer.
Please, seek them out. They are easy to find if you ask around, search the web or make enquiries through your local council.
Don’t do it because it will look good on your LinkedIn profile or CV. Do it because it’s worthwhile and because of that itch to change something in your life.
Ultimately we are all connected. A stronger community helps everyone. The more of us who get involved, the better our world will be.