Is what we are doing good enough?

Posted by Linda O'Connell  on 21 November 2017 | 0 comments

SVP Bulletin, Society of St Vincent de Paul, SVP magazine, reflection, Winter SVP magazineI think I made a difference?

In my 12 years working and volunteering for the Society I don’t recall too many times when I have heard the words uttered, “I think I made a difference”. Why is that? Why do many of us feel that what we are doing isn’t good enough?

There are many of us who strive to make this world a just and better place, not because we are looking for credit or praise but because we can empathise with our fellow man. I often wonder whether this impulse to help others comes from a pure, noble intention or whether it comes from some sort of an underlying sense of unworthiness or ego-driven motivation. You might say ‘Who cares why? As long as people are benefiting from these impulses, why question them?’ But it is important to reflect on this.

Maybe it’s a case that those of us who commit to these altruistic acts do so because something within us doesn’t feel good or worthy enough unless we are devoted to helping others. We don’t believe that we’re worthy, not because of any external action, but because we all have within us a spark of the Divine which makes us inherently worthy. So we go out and help people, and some tell us how we’ve made a difference, and then we feel more worthy. Then our worried, scared, ‘never good enough’ egos feel a little bit better for a while.

So what would happen if someone waved a magic wand and we all suddenly woke up and knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that we were worthy without all the accolades and applause from those we’ve helped. Would we lose all ambition to help others? I don’t think so. And this is evident when we look around the Society at what our Members, Staff and Volunteers are doing every week.

It is possible to believe we are all worthy, and serve others from a pure, clean impulse to ease the suffering of others. This will be apparent from the many articles in this latest Winter edition of the Bulletin, which includes histories of Members such as Noel Clear and Don Mahony, who worked tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of many to present day efforts by current Members, Social Justice team and our SVP Young teams around the country.

You will also read of the amazing work our Retail team are carrying out nationally and the positive impacts these outlets have in local communities.

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Blog post written by Linda O'Connell

Editor of the SVP Bulletin

More by Linda O'Connell

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