Keeping the Community Spirit Alive

Coventry, with snow on the road - February 2007We’ve had quite a bit of snow yesterday and today. It’s been some time since we’ve actually had some snow that was bad enough to cause travel problems.

I live in a small cul-de-sac with only a few cars driving down the road each day. As a result there is not enough traffic to keep the road clear. The council does however provide a grit salt container at the end of the road, which they keep filled up.

Rather than get stuck this morning last night I made an effort to not only clear my drive, but the whole road, using the grit salt. Another person had the same idea at the same time and we started spreading the salt around. A third person also joined us, and between us we spent about half an hour to put the grit salt down the whole road, even beyond our own houses to some cars parked at the end of the road.

Whilst we were obviously partly motivated by our own needs of getting our cars out this morning we each went beyond that knowing that it would benefit everyone else down the street as well, in effect helping everyone else out.

I think that this sums up quite a lot of volunteering. Although volunteers often get something out of volunteering as well, there is usually an altruistic desire to help others. There is a good write-up about Altruism on the Wikipedia Altruism page.