Continuing a bit with my grumbling from Monday, I want to ask you for your considered opinion. What does it mean to you if a person volunteers?
Dictionary.com defines it as: a person who performs a service willingly and without pay.
I belong to many, many writing groups and all of them rely on volunteers to keep the organization running. I myself volunteer for far too many things and find those tasks cutting into my writing time or time spent with my family. But I volunteer because it helps the group and I benefit from the support and knowledge of the group.
I suppose that is a payback, but I also see it as part of a social contract we need to keep our society functioning (and this belief is obnoxiously evident in all my books).
Recently, someone mentioned that the only reason they volunteered is so that they might receive a benefit given to them at the cost of others of the group. It also resulted indirectly in a monetary benefit to the individual.
I’ll admit it. The notion ruffled a few of my feathers. And it isn’t an age thing. This person was older than I.
So, my question to you is this—is the definition of volunteer changing? Is the new definition to be a person who performs a service willingly and with the expectation of some perk given to himself at the expense of others?