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The Future of Volunteer Work

Last Friday I was at the Annual Assembly of the Swiss Red Cross (SRC), in commemoration of the 140th anniversary of the SRC, hold in the town hall of the city of Berne. The subject of the assembly was the role of volunteer work.
After a talk of the Swiss federal minister of finance, Hans-Rudolf Merz about the indispensability of volunteer work in today’s society, there was an interesting presentation of futurist Georges T. Roos of ROOS Office for Cultural Innovation, a private futures studies institute in Lucerne and member of the World Future Society. He spoke about “Does Volunteer Work have a Future? – What will move people tomorrow”. He sees individualisation as the central trend, that everyone is looking to his own “salvation”, and there is no more a higher sense generally obliging. Central values are, everything has to be easy and convenient, with mobility in all aspects of life. At the same time many people want to make a difference and stand up for bettering the world – they want to do good deeds, because it gives you fun and experiences and you meet people.
Subjectively people have much less time for volunteer work, there is a competition with sport, entertainment, friends and family. However, there are new kinds of recognition. Volunteer work gives you experiences you cannot buy with money and enables you to have a growth of self-awareness. You find the presentation (in German) on kultinno.ch.

On a genuine spiritual path volunteer work for the benefit of others is of great importance, together with meditation and study of spiritual texts. Without serving others or life in general, you cannot progress. (Have a look at Good Will in Action on The Value of Service.)
From a spiritual point of view a major future trend is the development of group consciousness through service. It helps overcoming the excessive individualism and integrates you into a greater whole. Working together as a group creates a flow of energy uplifting and inspiring all.

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