“Someone who comes for help without being asked, being inspired from within is a volunteer” says Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
In any organization that dedicates itself to a noble cause, it is these self-inspired volunteers who run the show tirelessly. As a human, it is an innate tendency inside every sane heart to lend a helping hand and reach out to lesser privileged in whatever way possible. That way, most of them in the world would want to be a volunteer through some noble deed. But then, most of the times, I notice that very few really volunteer towards the society in the capacity they desire to be! What is it that is needed to bridge the gap between the want and the action? What is it that stops others from getting there? Are there some special traits to become an effective volunteer that only a few people possess?
While I was pondering upon these questions, I cognized that the gap is in the ‘will minus skill’. Though everyone has a strong will to help people in need, many of them do not know the ‘how’ of reaching out, consolidating the need and conveying a solution. To be able to reach out and make a difference through volunteerism requires a lot of skills just like in any other walk of life. Skill to convey, skill to gather people, skill to involve and influence, skill to express and the skill to empower to name a few. The good news is that, even if you feel that you don’t possess these skills, there is a way to learn them! This is where the spirtuality plays a momentous role in bringing these inherent qualities hidden within to the surface and enable them to blossom to the fullest in the world around for its good.
“A volunteer devoid of spiritual dimension is utterly weak. The strength of a volunteer lies in the challenges he is ready to willingly face. The commitment and integrity in a volunteer comes from spiritual practices.” – H H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
And that is exactly why the need arises for a spiritual training to upskill the like minded and good hearted people in the society into effective and committed volunteers. A systematic spiritual training on volunteerism, communication, inter personal networking, mental boundary breaking and handling unexpected challenges can go a long way in not only building a volunteering ecosystem, but also in ensuring it is going strong.
“Though everyone wants to reach out to those who need help, they do not take a proactive role in achieving it. People want to do good, but they do not have the skills to do the good they want to. There is a dire need for people to express themselves better. They can get some help in becoming more skillful in their expression and communication. I specially designed the Volunteer Training Progam (VTP) to educate and enable people to acquire the necessary skills to go and reach out. ” says Gurudev Sri Sri Ravishankar
That is how the VTP began its journey and along with it, began the journey of VTP trainers like me too! In the numerous VTP workshops that I have been privileged to carry out over the years, the way the ordinary people have spun around extra ordinary volunteering potential and activities is miraculous.
The way people get inspired to become agents of positive change in the world, the way they get equipped to empower the lesser privileged sections of society, the way they spread inexplicable smiles and inevitable joy, the way they learn to connect from heart and lead from front in just 4 days of rigorous training with a hands-on interim practical field work is unimaginable beyond thought and inexpressible beyond words.
One has to really only see it to believe it! The ocean of Master’s grace gliding them through the whole journey all along is as evident as encompassing. Truly, the best experiences can never be seen, heard or comprehended, they can only be felt right within. Indeed, this special honour to be able to inspire the inspirers and train the trainers is the single most inspiration for me to spearhead the spiritual volunteering bandwagon… over and over again!