Every Wednesday night since last month, I’ve been volunteering at a very special place where we spend time with kids and I’m not sure if I’ve talked about why I love being with children but if I did, just allow me to ramble about it again because I think I’ve had a new influx of people asking me the same question: Why kids?
I think I feel a calling towards kids first because they reflect somewhere where we all once were- whatever age they’re at right now, we’ve been there before. Of course I’m not saying that everyone live their life as an 8 year old the same way or 9 year old doing the same things- we all make different decisions and we all come across various experiences. But because I’ve had a pretty fortunate childhood with a supportive family, the best of teachers and a great learning environment; I feel like every child deserves that.
As a child growing up I have taken many of these for granted, but while these children with not so perfect families or backgrounds, who struggle with the simplest of words and mathematical equations stand before me as reminders to appreciate what I have, I also feel a responsibility to translate the fortune that has been bestowed upon me into my love and care for them that they so lack of in their lives.
I have people asking me why I always volunteer with kids almost all the time. They say ‘There are so many causes out there you know? The disabled? The old? So why kids?’ And my answer to that, is that with whatever I have as of today, with the experience and knowledge that I have presently, I think they would benefit the kids the most because I then know how to connect with them, I can stand in their shoes better and think what they think, understand what they do and why. In fact, more than half of the service in volunteerism is really learning as much as you can through the connection.
Plus the best thing about their age is their innocence; sometimes I think kids are the only people I can completely trust when they promise me something and they’re the ones who mean whatever they say and I don’t ever doubt it. They can be naughty and playful, but never evil; and they can fool around and play pranks, but when they love, they truly, deeply, love with a kind of trust that can’t be described in words.
So when people ask me about what I want to get out of working with kids, I think I’d say it’s the influence that I bring into shaping who they become. As their innocence get shaped into something more sophisticated because of the world around them, I want to be there to have a say in what they think.
Yeah, that’s why. And ever since I’ve been dragged at first in Primary 5 to volunteer with kids in the neighbourhood Rotary Family Service Centre, I’ve stayed there for 4 years before they closed off for kids, moved on to work at a student care centre for about 8 months, did service learning with kids at Bedok for a bit and now volunteering somewhere in Buona Vista; the learning never ends.
And for the same reason, I love my juniors to death.