Prideful volunteering

The Bible says that you shouldn't sound a trumpet when you do good deeds--that you shouldn't brag about the good things that you do.  I agree that there is wisdom in not coming across as condescending when performing good deeds.  I think it can be annoying when people continually boast of how good they are and the wonderful things that they do with their lives.  But I think it is foolish to try to do all charity in secret.

I often talk about the things that I do to help out other people.  I have blogged about charities that I feel good about donating to.  I post about volunteering my time and donating my money to charitable institutions.  I don't mean to brag in doing this.  I mean to raise awareness.  I think that people do not think about it nearly as much as they should, and that donations to charity are far more sparse than they should be.  I hope that in speaking of the acts that I do, I can help motivate other people to give more liberally and more frequently to similar causes.

At any rate, the particular volunteer work I wanted to speak of today was what I did on Saturday last week.  This month is Gay Pride Month.  It is a month to celebrate life and love.  It is a month to show the world that we gay people are good people, and that we are proud of who we are.  We are not ashamed because our biological nature differs in one respect from other people.  We are comfortable in our own skin, and we are glad to show it.

Two years ago, I attended my first Pride Fest.  I wanted to participate, so I walked in the parade.  It was wonderful to be a part of something bigger than myself.  It was fun.  Then last year, I just attended and met up with some friends.  It was enjoyable.  This year, I wanted to really be involved.  I went to the official website for Knoxville's Pride Fest and I saw that there were volunteer opportunities.  There were events scattered throughout the month, and I picked two that looked interesting to me.

The first was a "Next to Nothing Fashion Show", where sexy men model underwear.  That sounded like fun, so I signed up to volunteer for that.  The other was the Pride parade.  I love the pride parade and I know there's a lot of work that goes into putting everything together, so I wanted to help with that.  Unfortunately, on the day of the fashion show I wasn't feeling very well, so I stayed for a while and helped a bit, but when it seemed that I wasn't needed much anymore, I went home.  I didn't get to see the show, but that's okay.  There's more to life than seeing attractive men in their undies.

On Saturday, Conrad and our roommate and I went to the World's Fair Park and we helped set up for the festivities that would happen there.  As I was helping out, I really noticed something about myself.  I don't really enjoy festivals and things like that as much as other people do.  I enjoy helping.  I enjoy setting up and getting things ready.  I enjoy laying pamphlets out on the table.  I enjoy hanging signs and putting things together.  And, as out of shape as I am and as physically grueling as it is, I even enjoy hefting heavy equipment from a vendor's truck to his booth to help him get ready for his day of selling goodies.  It was a very positive experience for me.  I hope Conrad and our friend liked it as much as I did.  But I felt fulfilled while I was doing it and after we had finished.  I am glad that I helped out.