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Honorary Capacity

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Working in an honorary capacity is a concept with many facets and should be regarded as a matter of course.

Each of us can take up work in an honorary capacity and this way, contribute their share to life in our communities. Of course, there are numerous ways of working in an honorary capacity, but demand is especially high in care homes, in hospitals, only to name a few. Those facilities are absolutely dependent on the support of honorary workers. The fast pace of our time doesn\’t allow many qualified employees to do their job according to their maxim any more.

In human living together, it should actually be possible and important to bring in your abilities and skills in daily communal life, that is, to take care of your neighbours, your friends or acquaintance and relatives – of course on voluntary basis. This doesn\’t mean anything but to receive no money for the work you\’ve done. By working in an honorary capacity, you offer your work to people really in need of help.

Working on a honorary basis is possible in many parts of our society, let\’s only think of all the pastoral and socio-political tasks, or, for our children\’s sake, of pedagogic work which can be supported on a honorary basis.
In our society, there really are no activities that cannot be conducted honorarily, although it depends on the respective organisations. There is a significant increase of voluntary work in the cultural sector today. It\’s simply unthinkable for example, that there would be so much interest in museums without the guides there working in an honorary capacity, or the city guides working out of their sheer passion and support cities and communities this way.

We can even help to solve the problem that communities always have to suffer from lacking financial means. Without voluntary help, important activities like introducing our children to libraries were not possible any more

Actually, in Germany, there are more people working in an honorary capacity than anywhere else. However, the situation can still be improved even further, for example by enabling more people to work voluntarily by giving them new induces, or maybe tax incentives, as not everyone\’s financial situation allows them to work without being paid.

But anyway, it has to be stated that Germany clearly is far from being a country of egoists in this sector. This is absolutely not the case. No matter how many positive aspects there are for voluntary work, in the end, people\’s work for others, that is, from one human being to another, should be the central point. Honorary work should under no circumstance be considered as a way to cut costs for a welfare state.
You should also make sure, once you decided working in an honorary capacity, to bring in all your professionalism into your job. It\’s most important, however, that you always do your job with all the love you\’re able to give to people in need, no matter if you work in care homes, hospitals or aid organisations for children.

Working voluntarily doesn\’t necessarily have to mean that you work until you\’re all exhausted. Instead, it can as well be just small things which contribute to a better society and thus, to a better world. Let\’s take for example a professional graphic designer. He or she can develop banner graphics others would have needed weeks for in one single hour. Through his small effort he can help others doing a big part of their work.

There are several people working so hard for people in need until they need help, too. People, who build wells and houses in Africa not with the help of others, but all on their own. If, instead of this, hundreds of people would unify themselves and build one house together, each of them would only have to make a very small effort. An example for this kind of cooperation is Nelson Mandela\’s project \”46664\”. With this project, Nelson Mandela wants to help people infected with HIV, especially children. One way of this project is a music festival in which many artists like Anastacia, Yusuf Islam (formerly known as Cat Stevens), Beyoncé Knowles, Shakira, Queen and many other artists have already collected money for HIV-infected people through their gigs. The first successful concert took place on November 29th, 2003 in Cape Town, another one from April 29th until May 1st, 2005 in Madrid. The next one is going to take place on June 27th, 2008 in London, at the same time as Nelson Mandela\’s 90th birthday. One could think that the big donations of artists contribute to helping those people, but what is a donation, no matter how big it be, in comparison to such a great festival in which the artists have nothing do to but to perform on stage with all their professionalism which for them is most of the time a piece of cake?
For example, what can help someone infected with HIV more? A donation by a probably even anonymous donor, or a music festival where hundreds of artist are united and perform in front of an audience of millions of people, thus building up a giant community of helpers? I think only solidarity among us can contribute to the aid! The more people work in an honorary capacity and help, the smaller the effort for a collective future in this world becomes!

This post is also available in: German

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