The lost art of giving away time

OUR city today would be unrecognisable to the people of 50 years ago.

The world around us is always changing from week to week.

Workplace loyalty is seen as a bit of a relic and even huge corporations have trouble sticking to their guns on decisions about things as mundane as the provision of plastic shopping bags.

Sticking at something has become an art of its own.

Distractions are boundless and restrictions on our time seem equally limitless.

If you have a mobile phone in your pocket and internet access, you’re always on the clock because you’re always reachable.

When you ask venerated volunteers why the art of giving time has become less practiced than ever, they’ll often point to more demands on our time from employment.

But there’s a melange of other supposed expectations, including the thoroughly necessary curation of various social media profiles.

This weekend, the Rural Fire Service paid homage to 19 locals who have clocked-up a collective 402 years in volunteering time. Time given away to help someone else.

It wasn’t given away for the expectation of payment or the hope of tangible love tallied in the form of Facebook or Instagram engagement. It was given to provide relief and succour for someone else.

The RFS in the Tamworth district accounts for about 1200 volunteers. 

But the lack of people willing to give time is a common story for many organisations.

In an era where people are spending more time at work, but less with employers, more time on social media, but less with friends, the reluctance to put time into helping points to a level of selfishness.

While people will happily boast about a dollar spared for a charity cause, it’s only putting a price on your pride under the guise of generosity.

So we celebrate the milestones of Jack Hahn, Colin Barton and anyone who volunteers to proffer support, because their compassion and humility can only be measured in time and is more valuable than any dollar figure.

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