5

votes

Do you do volunteer work? Does this have anything, at all, to do with paleo?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 04, 2011 at 3:07 AM

vol??un??teer
v??l??n??ti(??)r

From Urban Dictionary:

1) The act of giving of yourself to help others. Often followed by a rush of happiness at knowing you've made a difference, but sometimes frustration occurs at going unappreciated or unacknowledged. However, many people volunteer tirelessly anyway, not wanting or needing any validation or applause for what they do.

2) What many high school students are forced into doing in order to graduate.

Do you volunteer? If so, what compels you? Personally, my volunteerism record blows. I volunteered a lot in high school, as in the second definition above. I volunteered some in college, partly to meet chicks. Many years passed. I started caring a lot more about everything, and did weird "volunteer" type stuff, like organizing a homeless potluck. There are a few potential reasons why volunteerism is a paleohacks issue:

  • Paleohacks is made up of people volunteering to answer questions. Sure, you can get a kick out of displaying knowledge and acquiring points. That's what drew me in. But many people seem to actually care, and there have been several cases of in-depth answers to help paleohackers through health issues.
  • Volunteerism is associated with improved health and happiness. The investigators controlled for socioeconomic status but obviously this isn't a definitive study. Mark Sisson has a great article on the health benefits of altruism, including immune and sleep benefits.
  • Dopamine: When we do good things and receive good feedback, the dopamine rush reinforces the behavior and can lead to a virtuous cycle. I can't find a paper on this, but there's gotta be some cool stuff about volunteerism and the brain.
  • Paleo evangelism: Let's call a spade a spade. Paleo evangelism is fun, but it's tough not to cross the line. Regardless, many on here became paleo after someone volunteered to teach them about this crazy new way of thinking about food. Sometimes even people who you don't know so well, or at all.
  • Community/tribe dynamics: We live in an impersonal, f*ck you world of 7 billion humans. An unappreciated part of the paleolithic dynamic was living in small community settings where people didn't totally ignore you and you didn't work in a windowless cubicle. Volunteerism is a breath of fresh air -- people actually WANTING to help for no monetary gain.
  • Cooking: There's just something about cooking for people. Family dinners, potlucks, sharing meals with strangers. The primal urge (oh crap, I guess Sisson owns that word now) to share good food, take in the aromas, feel your belly become full. That's maybe why soup kitchen volunteering is so satisfying?

So what say you? Volunteer an answer please :)

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Don't be sad Canis Minor! Most dogs are unemployed, and they seem okay with it :) But seriously, it's so hard to shake negative thinking. I ran across a very crypic but awesome guide on the internet all about systematically addressing habitual negative thinking, by a crazy Russian guy. I wonder if I can find it again...

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on November 04, 2011
at 11:49 PM

OMG. Laughing so hard right now I'm pretty sure I just peed on myself (but just a little)

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on November 04, 2011
at 08:50 PM

Happy Bat Mitzva Rachael! If you are a douche, you are only the freshest most invigorating douche.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on November 04, 2011
at 08:33 PM

Kamal - if you don't go into the greeting card business I will be very disappointed. I can think of at least three occasions that a card with ^^^^^ as the sentiment would have been more than appropriate.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on November 04, 2011
at 05:58 PM

Shari- If you are a douche, you are only the freshest most invigorating douche.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on November 04, 2011
at 05:36 PM

Thanks, Kamal, I'll take a peek.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on November 04, 2011
at 03:56 PM

I doubt myself a lot! But really, just don't want to open PH and see a long-ass thread about what a douche I am, lol.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on November 04, 2011
at 02:58 PM

People see my hair and they smile - sometimes stopping me with "oh so pretty." So the indulgence, my only one, is worth it. Who KNEW that a proper cut could bring happiness to others?!?! Go figure.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on November 04, 2011
at 02:40 PM

You have a fantastically quirky, very French, hairstyle. That is HIGHLY correlated with being a good person.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on November 04, 2011
at 02:38 PM

You doubt yourself sometimes. That also makes you a good person. I'm afraid you can't escape your destiny, Shari.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on November 04, 2011
at 02:28 PM

Crap my response sounds so self-important. That's not exactly what I was going for. Point is I actually LOVE doing for others because it's such a win/win. Bottom line though is that I love how it makes me feel. I started a career that had some social significance but gave it up for a job that is anything but socially significant. Volunteering makes me feel connected to the world in a way nothing else seems to. Just n=1 but I have no doubt it helps my brain. I know for sure it heals my heart.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on November 04, 2011
at 02:21 PM

You better believe it.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on November 04, 2011
at 02:20 PM

Blammo. Found it...http://www.bodhi.ru/samadhi/for/eng/index-samadhi-eng.htm

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on November 04, 2011
at 02:19 PM

Don't be sad Canis Minor! Most dogs are unemployed, and they seem okay with it :) But seriously, it's so hard to shake negative thinking. I ran across a very crypic but awesome guide on the internet all about systematically addressing habitual negative thinking, buy a crazy Russian guy. I wonder if I can find it again...

E242ecf1fecbac866894059f5304b4c6

(318)

on November 04, 2011
at 02:18 PM

??? did you just congratulate yourself?

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 04, 2011
at 02:17 PM

Aah, but looks can be deceiving, no? Thank you!!!

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on November 04, 2011
at 07:09 AM

You are a good person Kamal! I just know! :-)

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on November 04, 2011
at 06:40 AM

You are a good person. I can tell by the diligence displayed in your blog posts and your rockin' hairstyle at AHS11.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on November 04, 2011
at 06:39 AM

You are a good person. Nobody who volunteers to rock sick babies is anything less than awesome.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on November 04, 2011
at 06:37 AM

You are a good person. I can tell by your liberal use of exclamation points :)

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on November 04, 2011
at 03:18 AM

You are a good person. I can tell by your amicable avatar picture.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 04, 2011
at 03:14 AM

Oh yeah & hanging out here & at MDA in my free time...

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on November 04, 2011
at 03:10 AM

Good question Kamal! I think this is an interesting issue, especially as volunteerism might not be a big focus when the economy is bad, and people have very real concerns about just getting by.

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9 Answers

3
98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

on November 04, 2011
at 05:10 AM

Just when I think I can't love you anymore than I already do you go and get all gushy-hearted on us. Great topic!

I was lucky to be raised by parents who believed in giving back and we started at an early age. We were raised to be of service to others as part of our obligation as citizens of the planet but While I still view it as my obligation I get so much more from it than I give back. If there is anything wrong with your life, you feel down, you feel unfulfilled, you feel unappreciated or unloved, go be of service to others. I promise you you will feel differently about yourself and your life and the world if you do. It is nothing short of magic.

I volunteer with animals mostly. I help socialize animals, care for them and find them new homes. I foster animals from time to time but it's so hard when I have to given them back so I have to limit this activity. I also care for the ferals in my area and help out with trap and spay projects a few times a year

I sort food and bag groceries at a local food bank twice a month.

Last year I went to the hospital once a week for two hours and rocked sick babies. It was my favorite time of the week but I wanted to take them all home with me and it was very hard on me emotionally. I'd like to do it again and hope to soon.

On Christmas day every year a small group of us go to the homeless encampments in Nashville and pass out food and clothes and toiletries. It is an amazing experience and it is the best way to spend Christmas I can imagine. There is one encampment near the downtown area where others will come and pass out money and things to the homeless. It's amazing to see people, families usually, coming by to hand out envelopes with cash. It's usually just couple of bucks but you would think these people had won the lottery. I just love the thought that families spend their Christmas Eve stuffing envelopes with 5 dollar bills and they all load into the car and come down and hand them out. I wish everyone could witness this, to feel the joy in the air and see the smiles on the faces of every human being involved in the transaction. Brings me to my knees every single year.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on November 04, 2011
at 03:56 PM

I doubt myself a lot! But really, just don't want to open PH and see a long-ass thread about what a douche I am, lol.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on November 04, 2011
at 06:39 AM

You are a good person. Nobody who volunteers to rock sick babies is anything less than awesome.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on November 04, 2011
at 02:38 PM

You doubt yourself sometimes. That also makes you a good person. I'm afraid you can't escape your destiny, Shari.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on November 04, 2011
at 05:58 PM

Shari- If you are a douche, you are only the freshest most invigorating douche.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on November 04, 2011
at 02:28 PM

Crap my response sounds so self-important. That's not exactly what I was going for. Point is I actually LOVE doing for others because it's such a win/win. Bottom line though is that I love how it makes me feel. I started a career that had some social significance but gave it up for a job that is anything but socially significant. Volunteering makes me feel connected to the world in a way nothing else seems to. Just n=1 but I have no doubt it helps my brain. I know for sure it heals my heart.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on November 04, 2011
at 08:33 PM

Kamal - if you don't go into the greeting card business I will be very disappointed. I can think of at least three occasions that a card with ^^^^^ as the sentiment would have been more than appropriate.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on November 04, 2011
at 08:50 PM

Happy Bat Mitzva Rachael! If you are a douche, you are only the freshest most invigorating douche.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on November 04, 2011
at 11:49 PM

OMG. Laughing so hard right now I'm pretty sure I just peed on myself (but just a little)

2
Bcb2f5436d11467e89123680c046b858

(1356)

on November 04, 2011
at 12:28 PM

I started a non-profit to increase the availability and consumption of local food in my county in northeastern Vermont. We mostly try to educate people about why buying food from local farmers is better for personal health, the community, the environment, and the agricultural landscape. We also work to connect farmers with consumers; we started an online farmers' market to complement the regular farmers' markets in the area. Since starting the market, I have been putting in around 10 hours a week at this, on top of my regular job and kids and household stuff - I'm kinda burned out.

I think encouraging people to eat more grass-fed beef, pastured chicken & pork, and fresh veggies is pretty dang paleo - except our market does sell a lot of baked goods too. Oh well.

2
00c8eb3f6e6a1884216044ca29cf868a

on November 04, 2011
at 05:51 AM

I've been helping build sustainable multi-use singletrack trails (hiking/cycling/horse) every summer since moving to the mountains.

The group I volunteer with builds trail by hand, including moving big rocks with grip hoists and rock bars. (The only exception is when truly giant rocks need to be split, when the hammer drill will occasionally come out.)

I'm proud to contribute my time to something that will give people (including myself) joy for decades hence...perhaps even centuries.

JS

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on November 04, 2011
at 06:40 AM

You are a good person. I can tell by the diligence displayed in your blog posts and your rockin' hairstyle at AHS11.

1
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 04, 2011
at 04:20 PM

First, there is a connection to paleo because we survived as a species through versatility and our ability to adapt. That required volunteering to tend the old and wise as well as the young not yet ready to fend for themselves. Maybe the blind person they fed saved their lives by remembering a water hole when the others were dry, or that a certain plant was toxic.

I recently took in my 17-year-old grandson and I hand out medals at his cross-country meets, but my favorite of all my volunteer activities was being a Cub Scout den leader and teaching a bunch of young boys ceramics and other fun things.

1
Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on November 04, 2011
at 02:01 PM

Yep. In high school I held babies at the hospital. As a "grownup" gone into hospices to play games and read. Worked in soup kitchens. Taught conversational English to new immigrants. Styled women in need for job interviews. Helped to rebuild a village in Honduras that was creamed by a hurricane. Did everything except DJ at a teeny tiny independent radio station so they could keep the music alive.

Umm.. I think that's it besides being available to help friends and such with whatever they need. Like, I set up a book release event on this week for a friend who had no dough so wrangled poncey food, brew, etc.

That's how I roll, not for any specific Paleo reasons, but because my mum was worried that my asymmetrical cut hair, partially shaved, was ruining me and threw me into the helper role.

Still listening to hardcore and punk. Still volunteering because it makes me feel good to help others succeed or be happy. But now pay too much for a fantastically quirky, very French, hairstyle. I'm nothing if not flexible..

(nice question kamal)

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on November 04, 2011
at 02:58 PM

People see my hair and they smile - sometimes stopping me with "oh so pretty." So the indulgence, my only one, is worth it. Who KNEW that a proper cut could bring happiness to others?!?! Go figure.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on November 04, 2011
at 02:40 PM

You have a fantastically quirky, very French, hairstyle. That is HIGHLY correlated with being a good person.

1
0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

on November 04, 2011
at 01:52 PM

Until I relocated to the east coast I was a volunteer dog trainer and behavior consultant at my local shelter. I taught obedience classes there for about four years. Now, in the area I live, priority is given to high school students seeking college admission and no one needs my talents. Being also unemployed, I have nothing but time and my increasingly negative thoughts.

But the human/canine relationship is a very important one and in many ways descends from a "Paleo" lifestyle, whatever that might mean to you. We've shaped each other's evolution in ways that no two species have ever done. I consider it an obligation and a pleasure to improve that relationship when I can, so I've become the local behavior guru at my dog park.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on November 04, 2011
at 02:20 PM

Blammo. Found it...http://www.bodhi.ru/samadhi/for/eng/index-samadhi-eng.htm

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on November 04, 2011
at 02:19 PM

Don't be sad Canis Minor! Most dogs are unemployed, and they seem okay with it :) But seriously, it's so hard to shake negative thinking. I ran across a very crypic but awesome guide on the internet all about systematically addressing habitual negative thinking, buy a crazy Russian guy. I wonder if I can find it again...

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Don't be sad Canis Minor! Most dogs are unemployed, and they seem okay with it :) But seriously, it's so hard to shake negative thinking. I ran across a very crypic but awesome guide on the internet all about systematically addressing habitual negative thinking, by a crazy Russian guy. I wonder if I can find it again...

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on November 04, 2011
at 05:36 PM

Thanks, Kamal, I'll take a peek.

1
B9cc28905ec54389c47cde031d709703

on November 04, 2011
at 08:41 AM

I don't volunteer in any official capacity for an organization or anything like that. Rather, when somebody asks for help or advice I give my time freely. I have enormous amounts of free time and I never so far declined a request for companionship, advice, guidance, etc.

I do have rules of engagement though. If somebody asked me to fly out to the states and see them I'd say no. If some girl having problems asked me to see them I'd say no. If somebody asked for help while I was spending time with my family I'd say no. So I do believe in some form of balance in how I prioritize things. I believe in making sure things are all well in my own environment before I start giving my time to others. I've seen many people who volunteer all the time who live in stressful situations at home, etc. They use the volunteer work as a coping mechanism or justification instead of dealing with their problems. I have serious issues with that because for me it shows substandard judgment and it's not in my mind the correct reason to volunteer. I wouldn't want help from somebody who couldn't help themselves.

1
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 04, 2011
at 03:13 AM

Great question!

Until our recent move, I volunteered every Saturday during the season for 2-3 hours at our local Farmer's Market info booth.

Last week I worked in a community garden for 2 hours.

I do pro-bono work with moms & families who can't afford my services as a Pregnancy coach.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 04, 2011
at 03:14 AM

Oh yeah & hanging out here & at MDA in my free time...

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on November 04, 2011
at 03:18 AM

You are a good person. I can tell by your amicable avatar picture.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 04, 2011
at 02:17 PM

Aah, but looks can be deceiving, no? Thank you!!!

1
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on November 04, 2011
at 03:12 AM

Great Question Kamal! Paleo Hacks is all about the volunteer!

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on November 04, 2011
at 06:37 AM

You are a good person. I can tell by your liberal use of exclamation points :)

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