Diary of a PPA Volunteer…
Later that day, the question got me thinking and I realised that I never actually answered the question with as much thought. To be honest it created frustrations in me; especially as sometimes, when I look at the large amount of time the committee and the volunteers put into the work they do, and then see the criticism they still receive from community members that do not even take the time to attend events. Now don’t get me wrong, ‘constructive’ criticism is always worth hearing & welcome; in fact I built a successful career on it. However, in many cases it’s not constructive and nor is it justified!
On Monday at a work conference I was told a valuable anecdote – one which I think many of you will remember:
Imagine, you went to Hollywood and to your surprise you managed to get invited to a pool party (something Hollywood is famous for). You go along to the party, have a few refreshments and decide that you now want to jump in the pool and go for a swim. (Something else Hollywood is known for!). So you get into your swimming costume and stand on the edge of the pool.
As you look down in the pool, you see 10 plops of floating ‘poo’. Would you jump in? Obviously, the answer would be no.
What’s the point. What I’m really trying to say is that it only takes ‘one’ plop of poo to ruin a whole pool party. In the same way criticism that is not ‘constructive’ by the few just ruins people’s hard work; when everything they are doing is for your community in the first place.
Working on the website daily (which is getting a huge amount of support and we thank you for that), I can tell you that so far our Census is up to 200 entries. If you think about the number of Pattni households throughout the UK, this number is very small considering the website launched almost 4 weeks ago. The Census form takes 5 minutes to fill out…and since I built the form, I can tell you specifically that it took 1 hour to make it and another 30 minutes to test it and ensure it worked before making it available to the the community and offer an easier way to get their Census done.
So if someone has spent 1.5 hours creating this for the community, is it too much to ask all members to spare 5 mins to fill the form out especially as its for their benefit? And a shout out to many of the youth; if your parents or grandparents need help with this, please take some time to fill the form out on their behalf.
The support that the majority in the PPA community provide is immense and incredible; and that makes being a volunteer worth it.
Watching my Dad’s passion for this community is something that makes me really proud to be his son. I am still striving to be the type of man he is and still learn valuable lessons from him even though I am 29 years of age. As youth, we sometimes forget the lessons from the wise because we think we know too much or we know better; something I have been guilty of. Too many youth also think that that they don’t need a community but they need to ask themselves that “why is it, all other communities from all religions around them are growing at a much faster pace than ours? And more closer to home; why was this community formed in the first place?”
I asked my Dad if he ever felt as though he shouldn’t do voluntary work for the PPA given the response sometimes? He replied “If I ever asked myself that then I wouldn’t do it and neither should you as your heart needs to be in anything you do”. He thought I was mad for even asking the question and slightly upset with me as I gave him the impression that I didn’t want to be a volunteer.
After speaking to him my question was answered, I realised that I am a volunteer of the PPA because I care about the cause of the PPA and believe in what we are trying to achieve. The PPA is a part of who I am; my identity and DNA is PPA.
Finally, I also learnt from my dad that I shouldn’t be a volunteer for appreciation, status or respect but should be because my heart is in it and I want to do good for the community; regardless of the plops of poo that float in our PPA pool.
So I made a valuable decision and hope you do too. I will spend my time continuing to clean the ‘crap’ out of our pool to ensure this party keeps going!
Now it’s your turn to comment. Tell us below..what will you do to help clear the crap!