Leading your life as a gift does not take any special effort. Instead, it could make your life more delightful. But, here you are in life and as a human, and unlike other animals or plants, you have the evident ability to choose. So, how do you want to use this gift? Nothing extolls life as a gift as adeptly as the concept behind RYTHM Foundation’s Gift of Life (GOL) initiative.
“The legacy we leave behind between our birth and death matters – what we do, how we live, how we give back, and whether we have made sense of our lives so that it’s a meaningful life lived,” says Datin Sri Umayal Eswaran, the Chairperson of RYTHM Foundation.
In the second of a two-part series on simple ways to give back, these additional five acts of kindness go the distance to make every living moment a gift to be cherished.
1. Say ‘Yes’ when someone asks for a favour
We are sure you have heard the expression, “It is better to give than receive.” Research has proven that to be true. For example, a study in the United States in 2008 found that spending money on others, giving to charity or helping someone in need puts a bigger smile on your face than buying things for yourself.
Researchers also say that kind and compassionate people see clear benefits to their wellbeing and happiness. It can also help reduce stress, improve our emotional health, and perhaps even help us live longer!
2. Tutor students
Helping young students succeed academically is undoubtedly beneficial to them, but it can also be a rewarding experience for you. Moreover, this simple act of kindness could cause a tremendous ripple effect: your influence could encourage the students you coach to continue spreading kindness.
Want to help a child in need? Volunteer organisations like RYTHM’s partners work to improve education access for vulnerable groups worldwide. In Malaysia, they include the Development of Human Resources for Rural Areas Malaysia (DHRRA) and Good Shepherd Services, ASA Foundation in Indonesia, the ANOPA Project in Ghana, and the National Forum for Advocacy (NAFAN) in Nepal.
3. Volunteer at an animal shelter – or in any cause you are passionate about
Work by kind-hearted volunteers keeps many animal shelters running. So, if you do not mind rolling up your sleeves, cleaning kennels and bathing rescued pets, there is always a shelter in constant need of animal-loving helpers like you.
Enlisting to help in a shelter – or any cause you are enthusiastic about – shows that you are interested in things bigger than yourself and are willing to make the changes you want in the world.
4. Organise a community clean-up
Getting your community involved in a neighbourhood clean-up can be a great way to create awareness in your area and lay the groundwork for future waste-reducing efforts. A clean-up can also bring about a sense of community and responsibility to keep our homes and common areas safe and clean.
Sustainability is the only way forward and far from a mere buzzword for the QI Group. For instance, the company has incorporated a meat- and plastic-free policy in its offices globally to reduce their environmental impact.
Similarly, many of the Group’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts have involved eco-clean-ups. The most recent social responsibility for the environment in Kazakhstan, for example, focused on conserving nature, educating participants on separating household waste, and recycling.
5. Organise employee social responsibility activities
Today, many businesses affiliate with a non-profit or allow their staff to volunteer for causes they believe in. In addition, you can schedule an annual, quarterly, or monthly volunteer day for your office. Such activities boost office morale and are a great way to give to the community that supports your business.
RYTHM is the prime mover in ensuring the spirit of volunteerism is kept alive in the QI family. We achieve this through our Employee Social Impact (ECI) initiatives in various countries. Each year, employees are encouraged to dedicate 16 hours of personal time to causes that benefit their local communities.
In some cases, employees choose to commit more than the required hours as they recognise the importance of serving others and helping to make a difference in their community. In recent years, our employees have donated over 100,000 volunteer hours to more than 750 environmental and social causes in over 10 countries.
“Life is a gift. Live it well. Live it with a sense of gratitude,” says QI Group Founder and Executive Chairman, Dato’ Sri Vijay Eswaran.
Also read: Gift Of Life: Paying It Forward Redefined
We would love to hear from you if you know of a cause or manage an organisation that may benefit from RYTHM’s GOL programme. Kindly write to [email protected] with your full name, organisation name, and contact details for our consideration. Find out more about Gift of Life and how you can nominate someone in need to receive our support here.