I was reminded by one of my football correspondents (who send me local youth match reports for publication) that my blog goes further afield than I would have imagined - thanks for your kind comments Ivor. The world of volunteers is vast, without whom, all the attributes of a caring society would surely disappear?
"Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart."
In the context of what Ivor and his kind do, they may do it for their children or community; to give something back, to see others benefit without necessarily asking for or expecting anything in return. We all have the ability or opportunity to give something to our community whoever they are - a particular social group, the area, a group of people perhaps disabled or young or old. I can vouch, as a volunteer, that the act of giving something back gives a warm glow no matter what people think - and there are those who still criticise volunteers, those critics are sad, sad people.
Volunteering probably replaces the caring for the family by the family we see in many countries around the world. In this country, we care more for others than our own family often and that's not a criticism, it's an observation of something of which I approve.
We have developed, through having a free and open society with opportunities, a kind of independence through the more recent post war years. In my young life, my grandparents lived in the family home as well as my parents and myself. My family history research has found that multiple generations living in one house or part of a house was common, and the geographical location made no difference - my London roots are no different from my ancestors in the heart of the East Riding of Yorkshire and Kingston upon Hull.
But I was lucky to have a job as a 16 year old and bring in a small income from an unskilled job and I had parents who were wise enough to put some regular, albeit small sum of money away on a regular basis which in the end provided a full deposit for my first house. I gained my independence in pretty quick time and married at 22 with my own house. How different it is now with kids struggling to find deposits, decent quality reasonably priced homes in reasonable areas.
Perhaps our children will once more become more dependent on their parents than I had to be (although mine helped me out often in the early years of struggle) and maybe we will see more than one generation living together in the future, who knows? Family values and better people may emerge.
"Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve.... You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love."
Martin Luther King, Jr.