Precepts for Volunteers (John Klug)
Take time to listen, and you will find friends.
Be careful not to judge, you haven’t been there for the whole trial.
Remember who the “experts” are in poverty living.
Avoid leadership unless you plan to stay.
Admit powerlessness, it’s innate to your humanity.
Find reason to laugh, it’s characteristic of courage.
Be grateful for what you have learned, for you will have taught little.
Pray for the rich, they have a much greater problem.
Celebrate a small success; else you may not celebrate at all.
Tolerate hostility, for it’s the offspring of oppression.
Respect the dignity of daily humanity and you will have witnessed the ultimate prayer.
Feel good when giving of that which you have.
Expect blessings when giving of that which you have little.
On a short service trip to Denver one spring break, our campus minister handed out these “Precepts for Volunteers.” They’re by a man named John Klug, who unfortunately shares his name with a famous athlete, making him difficult to search online.
I typically have a tiny wannabe-iconostasis wall where I keep the prayer cards and saint cards that I’ve collected from all over, and for the past 18 months I’ve kept this list with the other images, above my desk (my cards are currently in a pile on my desk, due to moving, but I hope to stick them up shortly). There’s a lot to think about in those 13 little tips, especially now that I’m volunteering full-time.