Photo by Artem Podrez
The Vegetable Grows, and the Lion Roars is author Gary Lindberg’s memoir centering on his experiences as a Peace Corps Volunteer. While volunteering sounds gratifying, it’s also hectic. This begs the question of why people pursue being one.
Living a meaningful life is an age-old desire for people. At one point, people have questioned the whys behind their existence and yearned to know what lies ahead of their lives. Nobody wants to go through years of life and struggles only to realize they’re doing so aimlessly, wherein actions and choices have no reason or significance. If people were asked to choose between a life of purpose or one without, most, if not all, would choose the former.
However, living in a society of constant hustle makes it easy for people to become distracted from their true purpose. Instead of introspecting, their days are filled with routine tasks that do little to no help in actualizing a specific path to partake in life.
A Life of Meaning
A lot has been said about living a meaningful life, and an essential factor to remember is that everyone has a unique sense of what brings meaning to their lives. To some, a meaningful life is a life filled with happiness and contentment. But to others, their purpose starts with reaching out to others.
Volunteerism is more than just helping and assisting others through their problems. It’s also about forging connections and relationships with others, despite being strangers. The true spirit of volunteering isn’t just about how willing one is to lend a helping hand. It’s also measured on to whom they’re ready to help in dire times ungrudgingly.
Volunteerism doesn’t center on reaching out a hand and helping those in need. Instead, it’s more so about touching hearts and transforming lives. People take part in volunteering projects for various reasons. Whether it’s to help improve essential health for others or eliminate poverty, society benefits from this service. It aims to create subtle but sustainable changes in the world by starting at a small scale and within community kindness and assistance.
The Basic Demonstrations of Volunteerism
When it comes to volunteering, the Peace Corps is at its grassroots. This is a service organization composed of people motivated to create changes in the world. They work alongside local and national leaders to tackle society’s most crucial challenges. By its name, the Peace Corps aims to promote peace by sharing manpower with every community in need of meeting their needs.
An excellent introduction to what the Peace Corps stands for and the various works they partake in is the book The Vegetable Grows and the Lion Roars by Gary Lindberg.
This is a memoir about the author’s experiences as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Ivory Coast. His story provides a fascinating and powerful glimpse into what it’s like being a volunteer in the earlier days of the program. It’s a one-of-a-kind memoir presenting how Lindberg chose to take the opportunity, what he experienced during training, his projects, daily activities, and the friends he made during his service.
For the general public, being a volunteer does sound exhausting. They’re constantly putting themselves available whenever there are areas struck with disasters in need of extra kindness and manpower. Volunteers must juggle this on top of handling their daily routines and activities. Yet, despite the constant strain they’re experiencing, many still choose to pursue joining the Peace Corps.
The Whys of Joining the Peace Corps
Indeed, volunteerism is transformative for both the communities and volunteers. The changes these people offer and the significance of their influence on others’ lives can’t be quantified. These people don’t only spread strength and their labor. They’re also symbols of happiness and compassion. And righteously so, they’re recognized, respected, and adequately appreciated in their communities.
Life should be about engaging and exploring. The best days of a person’s life exist outside their comfort zones, and often these experiences are life-changing. Volunteering at the Peace Corps is one of the most unique and influential adventures people can partake in.
While traveling is significant, volunteering gives people experience way beyond it. Joining a project gives them more than enough exposure to new environments, cultures, and communities.
Volunteering is as challenging and hectic as it’s gratifying. It’s more than the rewarding feeling of knowing that you’ve helped someone. It’s also filled with explorations, discoveries of foreign things, and experiences with fellow volunteers.
Stepping outside comfort zones doesn’t just lead to new experiences. It also helps build character.
Volunteering encourages people to confidently step into foreign environments and take the lead in various intimidating situations. This leads volunteers to learn new things about themselves and discover unique traits they would’ve never known they were capable of doing. Being shoved into a new environment to try out new experiences fosters people to think outside the box and look at the world in a completely different light.