Paving the path to a brighter future
One of the biggest challenges of being disabled is overcoming the feeling that your voice, your concerns, your dreams, the medical breakthrough you long for, your hopes for the future are muted in painful silence. How do I know? Well, I, too have felt isolated, handled, misunderstood, and that my life revolved around multiple medical conditions not well understood, coupled with the expectations that other people would prefer to see me as someone other than who I really am. Because of this, sometimes I doubted myself. I had faith in the future, but I needed to believe in myself again. Thanks to the gift of volunteering, I was given an opportunity to share my truth, be heard and connect in a healthy way, which reduced my stress and feelings of isolation. Not only did the other volunteer's kindness inspire me, the experience taught me that despite my condition, I had something worth sharing that helped others. I saw myself in a different light. David (Prof. K) at Psychology Today says that 25 percent of the US population volunteers. And that scientific studies show volunteers live longer. Why? Because he said the health benefits of volunteering attenuated stressors of life caused by loneliness. So, don't take my word for it! If you have the time, give volunteering a try. Kindness matters.