What's the difference between a volunteer and a full-time worker? Between one who offers his/her free time and energies and one who is paid for his time and energies?
Let's just say if both do the same work, invest the same effort, put in the same hours, showing the same degree of interest. So what's the difference?
I'm sure you can easily rattle off reasons like how a paid worker is a dedicated resource who's trained and expected to perform and contractual terms are also in place to ensure stability and continuity over time.
Does the difference lie in the assurance we have that the paid worker can perform because of his specialised skills and experience? Whereas a volunteer isn't as effective?
Well, hypothetically speaking, a volunteer can be trained to be effective. And a volunteer is generally expected to be able to perform and we can't always be making excuses for anything less than acceptable.
After a night of sleeping on the couch and 2 hours of ploughing through photos on the computer, I don't have the full answer. But I think herein lies the difference: It's really not about whether being full-time or not, it's the degree of passion and the extent of rootedness you have.
Why do we give of ourselves? What have we been giving of ourselves to? Would we continue to give of ourselves?
Look back and look beyond. The road ahead will surely be new and yet it will somehow look familiar.
Cheers to a better 2011.