During this year off from teaching, I was given the opportunity to advise a robotics club for 5th graders at my school. I jumped at the chance, as I never had the opportunity as a student to participate in anything this cool. The whole experience has been a blast, both for me and the students. Today we enjoyed our first competition of the year. It was a wonderful learning experience for all of us, and it never would have happened without volunteers.
First off, the organizer of the event volunteered his time not just to run the event all day, but spent hours planning and coordinating the effort in advance so it would be successful. Many high school students volunteered their time on a SATURDAY to help elementary and middle school students have a fun learning experience competing with their robots. Additional adults volunteered their time to help judge the competition.
Big deal, you might think. What about those who volunteer their time to care for the poor, sick, and hurting? What about those who volunteer their expertise to a given cause without any prospect of remuneration? You’re just talking about a silly little robotics competition in a well-to-do suburb on a random Saturday. True. But that’s what happens when you seek to express gratitude every day. You see the little things people do that make the world a lovely place. You celebrate big and small gestures. In fact, it is often the small things that give us the joy that sustains us day-to-day. Celebrating simple acts in no way dilutes or places less importance on any other act. So today I am grateful for those who cheerfully volunteered their time to make our robotics competition such a wonderful success. Their simple act of giving brought joy into my life and the life of my students.