- Be the Impact: Never underestimate the value of the difference you can make.
- You can make a difference no matter how small your selfless actions are.
- Give from the heart whether it is financially or through service.
- Start with small, tangible acts of kindness.
In a world with a population of approximately eight billion, we all share a profound responsibility to serve and support one another. To neglect this responsibility is to adopt a selfish mindset that shatters our human purpose.
However, how can we #BeTheImpact as individuals and make a difference in our society? This question formed the basis of the latest RYTHM Connect discussion themed ‘Be the Impact: Take Action and Create Social Change.’
The Chairperson of RYTHM Foundation, Datin Sri Umayal Eswaran, returned to moderate the Facebook Live conversation series with Shipra Neeraj and Gavin Soon Koh Yu, who represent different professional aspects of the QI Group. This series by RYTHM, the social impact initiative of QI, discusses topics that matter with partners, experts, and social activists.
Shipra and Gavin shared their stories of community service and how they embody the #BeTheImpact philosophy. They emphasised that the intention behind our contributions matters more than their size.
The lively conversation also highlighted how small personal acts could have as much impact as larger ones and that social change isn’t just about significant movements.
The Power of Community Service
Shipra was encouraged to start making small donations when she attended her first V-Convention, the largest gathering of network marketing professionals associated with QI’s flagship business, QNET. Her inspiration was none other than Datin Sri Umayal.
“You invited someone on stage to recognise their contributions to RYTHM. I was then inspired to learn more about helping society at a time when I had not done much. That is when I initially started (contributing) on a small scale.”
She recalled challenging herself to do more. “Being in service takes work. It is not just about money but requires tremendous effort, time, and involvement, which is how One Purpose Nepal came about.” Shipra, who is a top distributor with QNET’s direct selling network, founded the organisation to feed, educate, and improve the health of underprivileged children in Nepal.
Gavin, a part of the QI Group’s IT Department, reflected on his experience with activities related to the company’s Employee Community Impact (ECI) programme, which provides employees with opportunities to volunteer their time toward worthy causes.
“When I initially participated in the programme, I did not understand the reasons or objectives behind them. However, it soon became something magical for me. I realised how my time and efforts were impacting the beneficiaries.”
Gavin’s experience is a powerful reminder of the importance of community service and its substantial effect on those who serve as much as the beneficiaries. “The joy and fulfilment of helping others are truly indescribable,” he added.
Datin Sri Umayal noted that the programme had transformed other employees like Gavin. “Many staff members today bring their family along on their volunteering activities. They are willingly journeying with us to effect change and feel vested in the process.
“Impacting a community also impacts us. You will begin to appreciate your life, and what you have when you understand the struggles of others less fortunate than us,” she added.
Taking Purposeful Action
Datin Sri Umayal emphasised the importance of understanding the specific changes individuals wish to see before donating to a cause or engaging in community service. “We must know what we want to see change. So, don’t merely donate but know what you want to contribute to.”
The host suggested beginning with small, tangible acts of kindness. “You can start by buying a pair of shoes or a set of uniforms for a school-going child, which are inexpensive.
“It’s important to note that making a difference in the world is not about possessing abundant resources or wealth. Instead, it is about taking purposeful action and genuinely attempting to impact our collective future,” Datin Sri Umayal added.
With his background in Information Technology, Gavin provided some crucial insights on how social media platforms can play an active role in community impact and engagement.
“They can be powerful platforms for creating engagement and awareness. We can use these forums to broadcast social responsibility information efficiently, whether they are community events, fundraisers, and volunteer opportunities.”
Legacy Building and Inspiring Others to Do the Same
The panellists also answered several questions from the audience watching the talk. To a query of which was more vital – contributing time or money – the panellists agreed that both were essential. However, their balance depends on an individual’s capacity and availability.
“Don’t overthink how much money or time (to contribute). Instead, recognise that every interaction you have is an opportunity to make a positive impact. Small gestures can have a significant effect,” Shipra noted.
“Give what you can and do what you can,” Datin Sri Umayal chipped in. “Having compassion for another human, being kind to one another, and loving someone in crisis will not kill us. It’s only going to make us better humans.”
To another compelling question about their respective legacy, the panellists’ responses centred on inspiring others to do the same.
Gavin illustrated the significance and value of teamwork and collaboration within a company to make a difference in the community. “From an employee’s perspective, the legacy I hope to leave is that I made an impact during my time through the various initiatives the company carried out.”
“The legacy I’d like to leave is for One Purpose to be a cause-driven organisation that continues to educate deserving children beyond my time. This highlights the importance of education and how it can help shape the future of a community,” Shipra said.
As a figure leading the Foundation’s charge for a better life for the underserved, Datin Sri Umayal’s unwavering commitment to bringing RYTHM – the acronym for Raise Yourself to Help Mankind – has become her and the organisation’s rallying cry for social change.
“We hope to bring meaningful impact that empowers lives and transforms communities through our initiatives. But beyond that, we also want every person to know that you have the potential to raise yourself to help mankind,” Datin Sri Umayal said.
“When discussing change, I want RYTHM’s legacy to continue beyond me. I’d like to see other Shipras and Gavins taking it forward and encouraging others. Nothing is more powerful than people coming together and wanting to change the world for the better.
“Together, with small but significant steps, we can achieve great things and become the impact we wish to see in the world.”
Datin Sri Umayal concluded the episode with a quote by Nkosi Johnson, a South African child with HIV and AIDS who greatly influenced public perceptions of the pandemic and its effects before he died when he was 12. “Do all you can with what you have, in the time you have, in the place you are.”
She added, “Change starts from within to create social impact. I genuinely believe nothing can be more potent than every one of us changing. We can all be changemakers.
“The desire to make a change starts from a spark of curiosity. Compassion, courage and community begin with interest and encourage everyone to be a changemaker. Never underestimate the value and importance of the difference you can make with every life you touch.”
In case you missed it, check out this entire RYTHM Connect episode so you, too, can start to live with purpose: