Thursday, 19 August 2010

So much to do and so few volunteers!

How do we increase volunteers? Volunteers largely come from our community of long term Dharma practitioners increasing in size, or at least staying the same size. Usually if the amount of volunteers is reducing it is because our community of long term devotees is becoming smaller. Therefore we need to ask ourself why people are leaving or not sticking around.
The bucket analogy is a prime example. If our bucket has a hole in it no matter how much we try to fill it we will be fighting a losing battle. In the same way if we keep working to get volunteers whilst maintaining an atmosphere where long term people are not comfortable, the options will become fewer and fewer as each long term person jumps off the ship. It is hard to get someone to the point where they are devoted. Harder than it is to fill a bucket with water. So we need to make sure our bucket has no holes in it because the contents are much more precious. If we drive people away by telling them they are lazy and selfish for not volunteering more we are throwing them out of the bucket. Is it not better to care for them and accept the small amount of work they do? Surely every bit helps?
In short we can ask ourself - if all the people who have left the community due to being pressured to do extra voluntary work were still here, how big would our community be? And how much work would be getting done? We need large communities and the only way to get this is to remove the causes that are making people leave. The solution therefore is patience, tolerance, gentleness and compromise. Not stubbornness, scolding, frustration, controlling, pressurising.
If someone who is doing 10 hours a week is forced into an argument where they seemingly have no valid excuse for not taking on extra - they will leave. One volunteer is lost and the opposite has been accomplished.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Anonymous comments are avaliable but if reference is made to New Kadampa Tradition only positive, constructive posts will be approved by the moderator. This is a website to discuss ideas for the removal of obstacles not for negative venting, personal attacks or talk of giving up. Constructive comment for example can be saying what would work and how things could be done.