I believe that RV'rs are like every other facet of society, a giant mixture of people that are very giving and those that are very me oriented. Some will give you the shirt off their back others wouldn't tell you the time of day if you offered to pay them for it.
My thought is that however you were before retiring is how you will be after you retire. Similar to people that win the lotto. Those that are tight fisted and hang onto what ever they gain and see no reason to give back will still be that way. Those that part of their personality is giving in one for m or another will continue, maybe at a lower level that matches their time and money that is currently available but will still do what ever they can and probably more, regardless oreligiousus beliefs.
Ray, Cheryl & of course Miss Molly the four-legged child
Well, now that I've read all the posts I see that most are money-centric and "I've done my part." Shameful.
But that wasn't the question and that wasn't what your buddy was talking about, was it?
It's really a tough question, not so handily dismissed.
First of all, do you feel a need to contribute? Not money; the other stuff. If you feel a need to contribute "the other stuff" you'll continue to do so. If you need ideas you could contribute as Red Cross responders and the like. There's always a need.
You could write about your life on the road and your thoughts; obviously you're a capable writer and you might inspire others to retire or "drop out" and still contribute.
Or you could simply hold your peace, and that's fine. You've contributed.
You'll find your way or it'll find you. Don't worry about it and don't rush it.
My personal thoughts are simple. I have a giving plan (charity and other) and yes, it will decrease some with a more limited retirement income. I help family when needed. I volunteer to help others when I see or feel the need. I've served my country for most of my life. Now, I will continue to do these things as I determine, but I also feel like I get to do what I want as well. And for now, that means most of my attention, actions, and efforts will be on the wife and me.
It sounds to me like you've contributed MORE than a fair share in your life - and can now contribute as a shining example for others :-) Have fun - and when you can help another person out - do so!
I think one of the reasons people get defensive is that we are barraged by guilt campaigns... driving instead of riding a bike, shame on you. Having a house and not a 500 square foot apartment, shame on you. Combine this with self righteous people who are becoming more and more belligerent and obnoxious, to the point of actually committing felonies (mainly criminal mischief), and it is no wonder that most RV-ers get on the defensive when people demand how much they contribute to society.
There are three things that will get people defensive, if not just outright angry: Questioning their hard work capability. Questioning their parental abilities (if they have kids.) Then, questioning what they do for society.
Of course, we all can do more, but some people may not be able to stick their family of four in a 500 square foot apartment.