Muni on this:
“What would happen if you dared to step out of your comfort zone and volunteer for something you believe in?”
One answer after another kept popping in my head as trepidation laced the excitement that I felt over going to the Team Muni Meetup last April 11, 2013 at Co.lab Xchange, Kapitolyo. With worst case scenarios going through my head, I was convinced that I would feel totally out of place at the meetup.
To my relief, the first thing I noticed when I arrived was how silent everyone was. I immediately realized that I was in good company, and that most of us felt shy and probably even had second thoughts about going to the meetup. The silence stretched on throughout Muni founder Jen Horn’s share, although it was obvious that many were just trying to reign in their enthusiasm.
Still, there were the occasional nods, pockets of laughter, and even groans that accompanied the trivia Jen spouted out; evidence that people were listening. It wasn’t until the upcoming Muni gigs and projects (see events with “Muni” in the event calendar) were being discussed that everyone came out of their shells, eager to voice out their ideas and contribute.
So what happened when I dared to step out of my comfort zone by going to the volunteer meetup?
I found a group of people who share the same ideals and that inspire me to make more mindful choices in my daily life. Indeed the Team Muni meetup was the right step towards building a community of Filipino Cultural Creatives because not only did it bring together like-minded individuals, but also encouraged those who came to keep on believing that we can do something to change our world and take the necessary actions to do so.
As Krizia Lucero, a Muni volunteer put it, “I want to meet others whose fire will rub off on me. I want to meet a group on fire to change the world.” That’s what I found at Team Muni. And I think that’s what others found too.
To me, attending the meetup dispelled my apprehensions about volunteerism and strengthened my belief that only good can come out of facing our fears. The experience may have been different for each individual, but I’m sure that everyone learned at least one useful fact and that majority, if not all, felt inspired to continue volunteering for Muni and its advocacies.
Sure, not everyone will be giving up coffee, hamburgers, or cigarettes because of one meetup (even after Jen’s shares on the impact of these things we encounter in our daily lives), and perhaps hardly give a second thought about those things. However, we will indeed be more inclined to stop, think, and ask questions, make manageable changes, and share what we’ve learned to others.
Is volunteering for you?
If you’ve always wanted to volunteer for a worthwhile cause but never dared to do so, I encourage you to go ahead and try it out. But if you feel like volunteering is not for you, don’t feel like you can’t do anything to help make this world a better place because there as so many ways you can contribute. You don’t even have to step out of your comfort zone to make a positive impact in society and the environment.
You can make a difference by utilizing your strengths for the good. It may be something as simple as tapping your existing network to create more awareness by sharing Muni’s #CutTheCrap #NoMoreButts posters on your Facebook, or it may be in a more involved manner, such as creating the actual poster, as artist Reg Silva details in a post on her blog here. Each of us has something to give and can always find ways to contribute. So why not take stock of your strengths and figure out how you can use them for the greater good?
[written by Hannah Grace Tasarra-Gamis]