10 Things I Learned from Volunteering

Adam J. Cheshier
6 min readAug 5, 2020

Around the world, volunteering is considered a quality resume booster, but that’s not all; it can also be used to learn valuable lessons you can carry with you through your career and life.

Below, I have highlighted a list of things I learned as a volunteer and how it relates to greater lessons in life. You’ll see that, not only does volunteering look good on a resume, but it can also create a simpler, more connected world.

Top Things I Learned From Volunteering

Here are ten things I learned from different voluntary experiences I’ve had:

1. Culture Should Not Be Compared

It is common to take on a certain selfish mentality when working with people who need help, especially when the culture is very foreign to what you know. Remember that your culture is no different from any other culture, no matter how much money you have.

In both Vietnam and Indonesia I’ve adopted mentalities that I wish were more integral to American culture; from the practice of smiling in Vietnam that made me smile, to the search for instant happiness in Indonesia just by playing the drums.

2. We Don’t Need as Much as We Think

Americans have a lifestyle catered to consumerism. Everywhere we go, we are sold ideas, products, lifestyles; how much of it do we really need?

Well, I learned during several of my voluntary experiences in underdeveloped, lower economic regions that material things are not what keeps life interesting. Keeping up with the Jones’s is not a race to be in; both for financial reasons and mental health.

Instead, it is better to focus our desire for material items less. After all, it seems inconceivable how those with the most don’t rank as the happiest in the world, but that’s how our psychology works if you get stuck in the race.

3. The Butterfly Effect is REAL

Adam J. Cheshier

Documenting obscure pockets of the world across long-distance overland expeditions. Recently celebrated 7 years of nomadism. https://linktr.ee/adam.cheshier