This introductory article starts by describing the genesis of this special issue and the interconnection of its topics. The editors offer a variety of reading entries into the key-note articles and responses. The article reconstructs the research interests underpinning the idea of integrating meaningfulness, volunteers and citizenship. It highlights the explicit interdisciplinary design of the special issue, and shows how the key-note authors, and their respondents, weave connections between meaningfulness, volunteering and citizenship. And, finally, the editors bring the background understandings of the key-note papers to the foreground, and reconstruct a non-intentional meta-level discussion on two fundamental concepts and their interplay: self and world.