This post hasn't been updated in over 3 years.
(This is not a post about volunteerism. This is my speculation about viewpoints that other people may have, their motives and feelings, i.e. being all sensitive to other people and stuff.)
You’re starting a new club… well, you know how it is. These days, it’s a club in the form of a new group or page on Facebook. You’re looking for people with a common interest, or to rally people for a cause you believe in. You wait for people to join. And then, when you’ve reached a good number of group members or “likes”, you find yourself not wishing for more people, but for your 50 (or 100, 200, 500) members to be more responsive to your posts.
I reflected on this a few weeks ago, during a dialogue I attended. There was a girl in her late teens, who had tried getting her friends and peers from school involved in volunteering for various causes or events. She felt frustrated; they didn’t seem to show interest in volunteerism. And thus followed some discussion about how to encourage local youths to volunteer.
Are teenagers apathetic? The answer was “yes yes, and how do we solve it?”. But I’m not sure I agree. I wouldn’t say her peers are apathetic; perhaps they can’t get involved at that point in their lives.
When I was at school, I didn’t have an urge to join any sort of student council, and had to be forced into positions of authority. (That was fun.) Participation in school competitions was usually initiated after nomination by teachers. School clubs were a sad affair at the time, with many club activities not lasting for more than a few weeks.
A few years later, however, I was in university and I found myself signing up for the “executive committee” for a student society. After avoiding sports for half of my teenage life, I started playing netball in a team. Being a bit older seemed to make all the difference in my confidence and willingness to try to new things. You’re more comfortable with your “identity”, and you have a more solid sense of your aspirations, with a consciousness of the type of person you want to be. You’re also more at ease with interacting with others.