Can you believe that with 7.3 billion people in the world, 795 million people are in need of help?
That data was recorded in 2015 — imagine how it is now. There is something about helping others that puts me at ease. I feel uncomfortable resting my head on my pillow at night knowing that someone out there needs my help.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am just a 16-year-old with little power and no money. But don’t you think that the world would be a better place if we all joined hands to help those in need? Even if it means to just be there for someone, anyone.
My mother secured this characteristic of selflessness in me. I always observed the way she interacted with others, and if there’s one thing I learned about her, it was that she never did anything in favor of herself. Whatever she did, it was for the sake of others.
I have done a lot of community service and volunteer work with my school and afterschool programs and genuinely enjoyed every single one.
Now let’s be honest: some people do community service for the hour requirements and college applications. But if you actually sit back and reflect, you become happier with yourself.
Some people also think volunteering is depositing money to a GoFundMe page. It’s not — and money is not the solution to everything. Yes, money is very helpful in certain situations, but there is something about being there in-person, physically doing your part.
For example, as practicing muslim, it is important that I perform zakat, which is a part of the five pillars of Islam. Zakat is a term used in Islamic finance to refer to the obligation that an individual has to donate a certain proportion of wealth each year to charitable causes. Zakat can also be the act of sacrificing your time to suit the needs of others.
But always remember, you don’t always need a reason to help, just do it.
Here at Exeter, our slogan “Non sibi” means “not for oneself.” This slogan inspires students to not only think of themselves, but of others, as well.
In other words, to be good global citizens and lead. I encourage Exeter students to volunteer in any way they can. Whether it’s at animal shelters, clinics, after school programs, etc.
Once, I volunteered at a food pantry serving food to the homeless and at the end, we learned that we served 379 people that night. To others, feeding 379 people probably does not mean a lot, but for someone who cares about the wellbeing of others, it leaves a big smile on my face knowing that I took part in something that means a lot to me.
Again, don’t get me wrong, it’s not about me. It’s about the blessings and the result of your actions.
By helping others, you learn how lucky you are. You appreciate what you have and be thankful for it. Volunteer work is one of the key points to help the ones in need and help our society become a better place.
Through this, we learn the situation in other parts of our city, our country, our world. We realize that where we live is not the sugar-coated place we were taught that it was. Life out there is hard. You have to work hard for everything you want to earn.
For the ones who are not as fortunate as we are, we have to help them. It is our duty to help make this a better place to live for us, for our children and for the generations to come.