It's good to give back. For thousands of years, humans have come together to create societies and communities that pool resources and combine efforts to create better conditions for living, laboring, leisure, and everything else that fills up the hours of the day and night. In the United States, there are typically four layers of government — city, county, state, and federal — that cooperatively provide a frankly amazing support structure that many of us take largely for granted.
Seriously: When is the last time, for example, that you thought about the consistent ease and lack of complication with which most people use a toilet for its intended purpose. Think about what's actually occurring, and the complexity of the system that brings it about. Imagine the level of complaint if the system were to suddenly vanish. The aphorism "out of sight, out of mind" possibly applies more completely and perfectly in this regard than anywhere else one could think of.
So when there's an opportunity to contribute, whether out of one's pocket or by the sweat of one's brow, to some worthy social endeavor, it behooves us all to pause, reflect, and agree to participate. Here in TestOut's home city of Pleasant Grove, Utah, there's a popular city park playground that's become worn out after many years of energetic use. The encroaching dilapidation has gotten to the point, actually, that the entire playground needs to be replaced.
A citywide volunteer effort is underway to support the renewal effort, and this week everyone at TestOut is taking some time to pitch in and help a new playground to rise, phoenix-like, from the ashes of the old one. For some of us, that meant spending half a day in a light drizzle moving and dumping clean soil around the support structures for the new playground equipment, and then using large and heavy tamping tools to more or less literally pound sand.
It's not just government organizations that encourage periodic reciprocation, either. If you ever end up studying for a business administration degree, you'll probably spend at least a unit or so learning that most businesses consider "corporate responsibility" to be an essential pillar of business success. It just makes sense to be involved in making the world a better place. As your IT career takes root and begins to grow, remember to give back when you can.