The 20-years old student Esin Tunay was not quite interested in social commitment way back. With her weekend-job in a cinema in Königsbrunn, she was quite pleased. She would not have expected that the choice of the ethical P-seminar: “Philosophical Experiments” of Mr. Körner would turn her life upside down.
In this seminar, the students have to realize experiments with which they came up by themselves. Esin´s experiment was about a one-week internship in an oncological ward. She did not shrink back from the most likely precarious impressions due to her high interest in the process of a chemotherapy. However, she received an unexpected rejection, only two weeks before the start of her internship.
Organizing a new experiment was almost impossible at that time. Instead, Mr. Körner offered her a five-day lasting internship in August in his café “Tür an Tür”. This is a branch of the society “Tür an Tür”, which has supported people of immigrant communities in their search for flats for 25 years. One of the committed founders is Mr. Körner himself. In the café, refugees prepare themselves with voluntary workers of the “Zentrum für interkulturelle Beratung (zib)” for apartment tours.
In addition, language courses, support for the search for work and competent advice are being offered. Besides the varied range of support, the café is also a cultural place that brings joy. With various events and workshops, the “Café Tür an Tür” offers the best conditions for integration. Besides asylum seekers, people like you and me are seen often and happily as well. With a wide range of dishes and beverages, sold on donation, there is something for every guest.
On Esin´s first day of work, she helps with the cooking and serving of the food. In the course of her internship she also meets many helpful people, collects uncountable impressions and new insights. The voluntary workers seem glad to help and the recipients are thankful. The working environment differs greatly from what she was used to in the cinema.
There, her work was not accounted for because complaints were her daily business. The motivation electrifies her. The voluntary work, the helping out of good will and the thankfulness of the people fulfill her with joy. Because of this, she is still working as a person of contact and temporary help every Tuesday after school and of course quit her job in the cinema.
The happiness of giving
But where does this fulfillment by voluntary commitment come from? Why does a student quit a well-paid job to help strangers without a payment?
It is obvious that especially students from the 11th and 12th grade do need additional money. In the period of growing into adult-life, there are uncountable expenses. The driver´s license, the first vacation without parents, tickets for concerts and so on… The list is long. With that in mind, a part-time job in a cinema seems ideal. But does the purchase of luxury fulfill one with so much joy as one would expect?
The answer is no. Because money doesn`t make you happy. Appreciation and gratitude do not only push our ego but also encourage our physical and emotional wellbeing. Altruistic acting is therefore a real drug.
In conclusion one can say that the short-term rejection of the hospital had been a setback for Esin. But looking at her story in the retro perspective it may have been the best that could have happened to her.