At first glance, spending your time doing community service instead of going to a concert or spending a quiet night alone might seem like exchanging your precious leisure time for more work. But community service is different from paid work in several ways.

First, no one is peering over your shoulder telling you that you have to perform this service, or else. It's something that you do of your own accord. Second, the point of this service is to give, whereas the point of paid work is to receive. If you’re interested in such services then visit

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As much as your employer might tell you that your company performs an important service, the fact is, you show up for work every morning to earn a paycheck. Third, community service offers you the opportunity to offer your gifts and talents on your own terms. 

When you go to work, you're always performing your tasks on someone else's terms. Even if you're the CEO of a company, you still have to represent the interests of the shareholders.

Moreover, this service is work that is performed in a non-work atmosphere. You can talk freely with other workers, dress comfortably and have the pleasure of knowing that your services are being performed for people who probably wouldn't have the money to pay for them. 

For these reasons and more, community service feels less like work and more like leisure, and the satisfaction that we get from giving is always greater than the satisfactions that we experience from receiving. This might sound like an old cliche, but most of us are so used to giving to ourselves and not to others that we can't say whether giving to others is pleasurable or not.