The Importance of Giving Back | Act Youth Force

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This series is in collaboration with Act Youth Force (Visit AYF) where we focusing on the write ups by different students write inspiring stuff. Read the first part here | second part here | third part here


‘’Be the change you want to see in the world.’’

This a powerful quote by Mahatma Gandhi, which I’m certain, that most of you are familiar with. When I first heard this quote, I never quite understood it. However, later an incident happened which made all the difference in my life.

One day, I noticed a man sleeping on the cold and rough ground towards the end of the street, I lived on. I saw the poor, homeless man lying there as if nothing mattered more than a good sleep. I could not get my eyes off him, and that heart wrenching moment engulfed my soul with agony and melancholy. I was astonished and concerned. I decided to ask my father to approach him to see, if there was anything, we could help with. A few weeks later, the man had a job as a domestic worker in my father’s friend’s office, and he was very grateful to my father as due to the quarters provided by the office, he had a roof to sleep under.

When my father conveyed this to me, I understood the quote at last. I was initially furious at the system of the society when I saw that man on the street.

However, through this act, I realized that even though we can’t change the way the world works, we can still be kind, and play our part. My father didn’t fix poverty, but he did change the life of a man for the better.

Photo by David Monje on Unsplash

Thus, instead of being disillusioned and frustrated, we should start from ourselves. If we have an opportunity to be kind to another person, we should embrace it wholeheartedly, and make a positive difference in the lives of the people, we can influence.

Another thought to be considered is that quite easily, we could have been born into a life, which isn’t as privileged as the life we’re living right now.  We’re fortunate and blessed that we’re living such comfortable lives because, in the end, it was all simply a matter of chance. That’s why we should pay more attention to those with comparatively fewer privileges in life than us. If we were one of them, we would have preferred some assistance. We would have appreciated the efforts made towards digging us out of the deep, dark, and disturbing hole of poverty. Thus, we should be the ones acting with the intention of helping right now, since we could have easily been one of those needing the assistance.

Photo by Jerry Kiesewetter on Unsplash

We could have been through the same pain and misery. It is just that we aren’t the prey this time, but who knows when the tables might turn?

Furthermore, there are numerous ways through which one can live a life of purpose and meaning. Doing what you love. Spending time with the people who matter to you. Achieving professional growth over time. However, the impact of these vary from what they mean to people, and the extent to which they can pursue these goals as well. On the other hand, there is one guaranteed way of achieving a sense of fulfillment in one’s life. Giving back to the community. When you provide food and shelter to the underprivileged, spend time with the members of an old age center, or a cancer hospital, or an orphanage, and even when you provide free food and water to workers who have been laboring under the blazing sun all day long – the warm sense of fulfillment one feels inside their body is unparalleled.

Lastly, another reason why it’s important to give back to the community is simply because it is our duty to do so. Our responsibility. Period.

Photo by Tom Parsons on Unsplash

We human beings are meant to live in an interconnected and interdependent manner. That’s why, we should look out for each other whenever it is possible. It is also important to understand, that acts of giving don’t necessarily need to be grand or drastic. One can make an impact in small ways too.

Ultimately, even a little act of kindness can go a long way.

Not all of us can be like Abdul Sattar Edhi, but we can help people like him in their mission, and we can do something on our own, too.

All that matters is that you try. You keep trying, and you remain consistent.

This is one way you can leave your mark on the world. This is one way, you can perhaps, leave the world in a better place than it was when you first entered it. You only live once, after all.

By giving back, that’s one way, you can make it count.


Written by: Zobia Akhtar | Cover Photo by: Zeyn Afuang on Unsplash

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