It’s been a hectic few weeks in my life, but what a fulfilling time it has also been!
I was amidst great people who selflessly dedicate their efforts, time, money and resources into helping others less fortunate in our community and have been doing this for years, without ever looking for any reward for themselves. They work for weeks without tiring. Even after an event is done and the objectives for charitable work is concluded, the lines etched on their faces are those of satisfaction and big smiles which far outweigh those of weariness and exhaustion.
But they don’t stop there! Immediately one project is done, they’re always thinking of other schemes to continue to help others out. Communities are much better places with these giants amongst them.
I’ve never been part of organised social charitable functions; although like most people I give here and there. Recognising that I could do much better in a structured environment, I sought such an organisation to expend my energy through. Fortunately, my good friend Hameed Karimi has been part of the Rotary Club of Adliya for some time so I questioned him about it and inveigled my way into being invite to one of their functions. A few months later I was invited to become a full member of that club which I accepted with alacrity.
Since then, I discovered the good they do in this community; from helping build autistic centres for children and youths (Al-Wafa and Al-Rashad Centres) through to pay for maintaining houses of the underprivileged throughout the country, to a highly successful annual golf tournament to raise money for various charitable causes.
This year, as the golf course is being rebuilt and the signature annual golf tournament cannot be launched, the board decided to mount an art competition to replace it. It is this event that I got involved in and I can tell you that no matter how tired I became, the realisation of giving something back to this great community gave me added strength to innovate and help out in any way I could.
I don’t think I did much other than utilise my own expertise in creating a website and made a short video documentary about the event and a few phone calls and emails to collect sponsorship funds. These activities were in no way comparable to other Rotarians who did and continue to do a lot more, but even with that, the satisfying feeling of being at the venue very early in the morning on the appointed day with my son Arif and offering our hands to help out with receiving people, especially those with special needs and seeing first hand how normal, jolly and positive they are, filled me with feelings of happiness.
It is no wonder that recent research suggests that giving away money makes one happier. I would add from my own experience that dedicating one’s time, efforts and resources also makes one much happier. It fills you with self-worth, it pegs you to the country and community you live within and makes you realise that the world is really not centred around you. There are much more important things in life than working away your life and chasing that non-ending rainbow. Giving, really, is the secret of happiness.
So go ahead and choose a charitable cause, even if it is simply helping an old person cross the street, giving away a few hundred fils now and then, or providing a shoulder to someone who needs it, these simple acts will most definitely make you feel much happier about yourself.
Try it, I don’t think you will regret it.