By Abel Pagaling
When we think of investment, first thing that comes to mind is the “dollar” sign. How much will it cost, and how much will I get in return.
In the last few years, I’ve met successful individuals who are “giving” their time and money back to the community. Some are business owners. Others are professionals who take time out of their already busy lives to give back.
This made me reflect on myself. If I trace back the significant changes in my life over the past 5 years, I would say it’s because of my involvement in the community.
It started with serving in my local church, the River of Life Alliance Church (or RLAC) in Calgary, then in my Toastmasters club, then eventually, with TFCC – or The Filipino Champions of Canada.
I will say that this magazine is inspired by my involvement in the community. I’ve seen so much beauty and inspiration in people that it had to be captured and shared.
I’ve come to realized that involvement in the community is more than just a “feel good” thing to do. I was actually (and maybe subconsciously) making an investment in myself and in my business – now and in the future. Here’s why:
Community Involvement Builds Better Communities
I don’t mean to offend by asking this question, but would you want to be associated with a “bad” community? I don’t think so. I think we would prefer to have a community that is respected and admired. We all want a community we can be proud of.
Community Involvement Opens Opportunities
What we value reflects on who we are, and we attract people who has the same values as ours. I’ve met many leaders, business owners, and professionals through my community involvement. These opened new business deals, partnerships, and initiatives that created opportunities outside of community work.
Community Involvement Elevates Your Status
When you add value to your community, you increase your own value. Personally, I find people who have a track record in serving the community more trustworthy, caring, creative, giving, and most importantly, they get things done. They’re respected by others. Extreme examples I have in mind are Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. Both are incredibly successful – personally and in business, and both have committed themselves to helping people through their foundations.
Community Involvement Makes You Smarter
People who do things for the community are forward thinkers or solution oriented. They have to be because communities are always changing and evolving. There are constantly new challenges to work on. It’s these challenges that forces people to think, to collaborate, and create results, making people smarter.
Community Involvement Makes You Valuable
The heroes we look up to – Terry Fox, Ghandi, Rizal, Mother Theresa – all have one thing in common. They served their community. We don’t need to match their achievement, but we can draw lessons from them and apply it in our community. Perhaps take on a cause that you believe in and get involved. Carve out some time to contribute. Two hours a week devoted to community services will add up to 208 hours a year, or 8.6 days of services! You can achieve a lot with that.
Community Involvement Adds Meaning to Your Life
This is the main reason why I get myself involved in the community. What would life be if we only lived for ourselves? It will be painful to know at the end of my life that I’ve lived but have not contributed to my community. What example would I leave behind for my children, or my grandchildren? I believe in “leaving this word better than I found it.” Because in the end, I want to know that my life mattered. I leave you with this quote:
“Try and leave this world a little better than you found it, and when your turn comes to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate, you have not wasted your time but have done your best.”
– Robert Baden-Powell
Life Coach – Certified Coaches Federation
Founder – Next Level Coach (www.nextlevelcoach.net)
CEO – FICA Media Inc.