A volunteer is defined as an individual who willingly donates his or her time to a service without pay. When we volunteer our time for a cause, we often leave without realizing the impact we have on other individuals’ lives. There might be other external motives that influence you to volunteer your time and efforts, such as going to a tropical destination, or meeting someone special along the way and giving them a good impression of yourself. Whether you realize it or not, when you volunteer you are instantly engulfed in the lives of those you are serving. Regardless if you are in an orphanage playing with children or putting up walls on a house, you leave an impression on those you hug, share stories and laugh with over a meal. When we serve others, we unconsciously share a story with them. Regardless of your motives that influenced you to dedicate a week or two to serve those less privileged, you encounter an experience that humbly breaks your heart.

We create “bucket lists” for a reason- to feel alive and in the moment. We want to make the most of our time because it is privileged and sacred. Everybody desires to have an experience that they can share with friends back home or grandchildren years later. We aspire to be recognized for our achievements. What if, instead, we recognize those who forever changed our lives in the process?

Mahatma Gandhi said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Be a humanitarian and make a difference in the lives of those who just might teach you the most important lessons about life, forever changing the way in which you view the world.