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BITS.aid - Why Volunteer?

This BITSian volunteered because ...

"I have been volunteering at the Stanford Hospital Emergency Room on Thursday evenings for a few months now. The work mainly involves changing beds, occassionally talking to patients, fetching water/snacks for them, transporting patients in wheelchairs to the parking lot and miscellania of that sort. Obviously I am not allowed to do any medicalwork, being unqualified.
I do it out of a sense of social conscience. I do it because I still haven't come up with a better answer to the question of how to lead a meaningful life than "Be happy, and derive happiness from serving your community and fellowmen". I don't understand why a lot of people I know haven't the slightest regard for any form of community service. I don't say anything to them though, cos I know I won't enjoy the inevitable 'you-think-you're-better-than-us' treatment. But I wish more of my friends would help out society, in however small ways.
I've seen some really horrid accident or trauma victims in the hospital at times. There was a little girl yesterday, and half her face looked like it had been burnt off. I felt so bad for her, and angry at the circumstances that has spoiled her life this way. There was another young woman yesterday, talking with the help of a translator because she spoke no English, asking politely to the doctor if the medicine the were prescribing for her abdominal pains would interfere with the chemotherapy treatment she was on at the moment. I left the room silently, praying that her cancer goes away soon. It all seems so unfair sometimes.
Such moments give me perspective. When my colleagues bitch about not getting raises, or when I feel bad for some silly thing, I always remind myself of the unfortunate people whose lives have been interrupted by some cruel trick of fate, who would laugh at our trivial petty problems. It keeps me grounded.
Working in the hospital does get monotonous sometimes, especially because the nurses and doctors talk amongst themselves, so there's no one to chat with. It would have been nicer if the doctors would tell us volunteers about medical procedures and stuff when they have some down time, but that doesn't happen here."

~ BITsian
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