Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Independent Quitters

Working (AKA - Volunteering) for non-profits is a tough gig. People are often quick to criticize you, the hours are usually on the weekends, it's sometimes hard work that no one will help you with and it's thankless. It's hard to keep volunteers motivated.

I have gotten involved with several non-profits because I felt their mission aligned with what I believed in. It is disheartening when you find that's not exactly the case. Several of my friends have tossed in the towel and called it quits. Their skin had become thin and they were not willing to take on all the crap that comes with the work. Though, I don't know that you really "quit" a non-profit. It's not like you were getting paid to help. Quitting really means you are just not showing up anymore for meetings.

I understand their feelings but I don't agree with quitting. If you say you want to make a difference, and then aren't willing to toe the line when push comes to shove, are you really wanting to make a difference or is it only on your terms? What I've learned over the years is that life is all about the compromises. It's rarely about you wanting to do it your way or no way.

My friend's decision to quit is disappointing. They all have something to offer, yet are stubborn and feel they will continue on by themselves. I don't want to tell them that life doesn't work like that. There's strength in numbers and no one person can do what many together can accomplish. I wish they could put their differences aside, communicate better, and learn to compromise - or at least listen with open ears. No one wins when everyone works independently. Well, maybe their egos win.