Mayoral Debate National Congress of Italian Canadians Mario Sergio

Michael Tibollo

Michael Tibollo

Goethe once wrote, "Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and help them become what they are capable of being."

So often, I am asked how it is that I can do all that I do each day and still find the time to volunteer. The secret is actually quite simple. It is the volunteering that gives me the energy and perspective on life that I need to keep me focused and working toward my goals. It is volunteering that reminds me how blessed I am to have all that I have. In sharing my time with those that need help, I find myself re-energized. I believe I am better at what I am doing because of the volunteer work that I do. It probably sounds strange to take time out from your busy life to help others but what ends up happening is that your energy level actually increases. In addition, when you spend time with people that are working and focused on changing their lives, you realize that with a little extra effort, you can do so much more with the time you have for yourself. In fact, you learn from them the importance of setting priorities in your own life and what you need to do to improve yourself.

I decided three years ago that I would spend my Fridays working at Caritas and doing motivational talks to the residents. I then run over to a Centre for young adults that are physically and mentally challenged and teach them taekwon-do.

Notwithstanding my time away from work, I have discovered that I work smarter and more efficiently and that there has been little to no impact on my income. My reward comes in knowing that I have helped so many people by taking the time to be there and work with them. In addition, I have learned how precious life is and how fortunate I am to have all that I have.

I strongly urge everyone to take some time and volunteer. I understand Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes were spread over the Indian Ocean this week end. How appropriate to end with his words, "I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again."

Michael Tibollo
Saturday January 30, 2010.