I sought my soul,
But my soul I could not see.
I sought my God,
But my God eluded me.
I sought my brother [to help him],
And I found all three.
ave you noticed how professional people deploy their services voluntarily to vulnerable people and are not paid for the noble act? Of course you have noticed how corporate organizations champion what they call “Corporate Social Responsibility.” These two aspects are laudable and today, I want us to take it where it matters most: in our personal lives.
Pro bono is a latin word that means when translated,
voluntary professional service of a specific skill that is not paid for
It’s acutely different from being a volunteer yet slightly related to being an unpaid intern. Typically, an intern gets on opportunity to work in a firm in which she develops her specific professional skills that will boost her career. The inherent word here is specialization.
In volunteering though, you are making yourself available to help in any community task or otherwise that is not necessarily part of your skill set or profession.
Given that we all have purpose in life, it is very interesting to note that pathway of purpose. It is a process. People mostly do not come to know their purpose at once. It kind of grows on them as they deploy what they feel matters to them at the moment. Purpose then morphs from there and gains magnitude, gravity as well as clarity.
That is why embracing pro bono services can be absolutely instrumental in the development of your purpose in life. Think about it: how come we all do not participate in pro bono services? I can bet that many people who read this title automatically thought of lawyers. We have all kind of disqualified ourselves from this noble cause.
Let’s make this clear. The heart of pro bono services is not just to scrap by to “fulfill all righteousness”. One should not do it just to be counted to have done it. No. This is the opportunity to put our A-game to the test. This is the chance to pour our heart, soul, mind and strength in deploying our skill to helping those vulnerable. I mean, it is an opportunity to do it in such a way that when you go back home, you will be seriously proud.
Deploying your purpose where you know that you will not earn any monetary gain is a powerful way of refining your gift. You might not have clients all the time, but you will always have people in pain and in need. Your purpose comes alive when your skillset, gifts and talents can intersect with the pain that someone is feeling. And if you can be able to alleviate that pain, you have gained one more avenue of refining your gift.
Your gift can remain dormant for ages without use. That is why only one word is the response that high level performers give when asked about their secret of success: practice. I am sure you can find someone in the community who can benefit from your gift and talent…and that is how you refine it.
Can you imagine what would happen if we all would embrace this: if we all would allow ourselves to be inconvenienced by others’ pain so that they can have that which they long? For the most part, it is normally in our grasp. You will be surprised by the paradox of life:
All I am saying is that we have millions of opportunities daily all over the place…and even if we are the ones who are in need, we still have others that we can meet their needs! Humanity will be turned right side up if we embraced this.
Did you notice how you swore that day that when you come to your glory, you will reward the person who just bailed you out? Did you notice how grateful your heart was when a stranger came through for you? That is exactly what you will be doing to someone in need when you come through for them. In turn, they will identify with someone else who will be in the same position you find yourself in. In turn the culture of giving, compassion and care starts spreading across the earth, and when it comes back full circle, you are one of the recipients.
Whenever children are involved, when you come through for the vulnerable, you have planted a seed like no one else ever could in their hearts. This is the seed of ambition. I am so sure that by they time you are through, they are vowing to be just like you or even better whenever they are given the opportunity.
As you can see, yes, we might “not be getting anything” out of the pro bono arrangement, but that is the wrong way to look at it. You see, when Money and what you can get is your chiefest driver for your purpose and pursuits of life, you have lost the plot in life completely. The greatest gain we get by offering our purpose “for free” is to simply help others in their need and in turn we realize that we are the ones who benefited majorly.