An Island Treasure
A few days ago, the winners of the 2011 Bainbridge Island Island Treasure awards were announced. What an honor to be chosen as someone who is treasured by my fellow islanders! I admit that, when notified that I was a winner, my first question was, “Why? What did I do?” Subsequent conversations with the award committee chair made me realize that, although others see it differently, for people like me, community service just feels like a normal, daily activity. There’s nothing special about it, except that it is so pleasurable.
I am often asked where I find the time to do all that I do. My first answer is usually that I don’t have a television. I recently read that the national average for adult television viewing is now over 30 hours a week. Yikes! That’s enough time to perform a three-quarters-time job, and plenty of time for finding engaging community service opportunities. Or time enough to do all the other things I enjoy, like gardening, cooking, walking, singing, reading, spinning, knitting, and designing wearable art.
The other part of the answer is that the kinds of community service I choose to do are all satisfying and rather fun. None of it feels like work, if we take work to mean doing something difficult or strenuous. It is a lot more rewarding to do things I can easily do well in a context that supports my community, than to pursue activities that benefit just me or my family (though that’s nice too). In fact, I can make a pretty good case for saying that all the community service I do is totally indulgent.
In any case, this award puts me in some remarkable company, from author/illustrator Barbara Berger to author Dave Gutterson and teacher extraordinaire Alice Mendoza. Wow! Here’s more information about the Island Treasure award:
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