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Lately the bad news seems inescapable: layoffs, bankruptcies, bailouts, falling home values and rising home foreclosure rates dominate the headlines. Getting caught up in a cycle of stress and anxiety is a natural result. Even if you still have a job and roof over your head, circumstances can change overnight, and your life might take a sudden, unexpected turn.

 

Sitting at home recuperating this past month, I found it easy to slip into anxious ruminating. Fortunately, I found a remedy on my bookshelf: a book on Zen practice entitled Everyday Zen: Love and Work by Charlotte Joko Beck. Far be it from me to represent myself as some kind of Zen master; on the contrary, I am not an authority in the least! However, I am finding that the Zen focus on the here and now is a helpful strategy for these anxiety-inducing times, and volunteering in the SAP Communities is an ideal opportunity for practice.

 

The SAP Communities offer a myriad of ways to move from a mindset of worry to one of action. In my experience, I have found that, rather than getting stuck on the way things should be, effective volunteering requires a clear-eyed acceptance of the way things are and a willingness to do what it takes now to bring about change. When there is something positive happening in our communities, chances are good that one or more volunteers are helping to make it happen. Volunteering for our community can get you out of an anxious mentality, through your commitment to the goals of the group.

 

This year, ASUG’s annual volunteer recruitment period runs from February 9 to March 6. As Jim Spath mentioned in a Doublespeak, many SCN members are eligible for ASUG membership. Both the Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and the regional Chapters offer a variety of opportunities for involvement. You can read more about the volunteer roles and responsibilities in the Volunteer section of ASUG.com. There are also a variety of avenues of involvement in the communities of SDN, BPX, and Business Objects, which recently launched its own SIGs in its own Community. No matter what your area of interest or expertise, rest assured that there is a place for you to put your talents to work and be a part of a group that is finding meaning in community. Active involvement can bring many satisfactions. I encourage you to consider seeing for yourself.

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  1. Susan Keohan
    Gretchen, this is so true – that volunteerism can get your head out of your worries, and into thinking about what’s best for the whole.  The benefits, both to the community and to the volunteer, are something that no economic downturn can take away.
    So now I have to go out and get a new book!
    Thanks,
    Sue
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