More A+ in examinations, better CGPA grades, high flying career, good pay and bigger income, the ability to own cars and properties … sounds familiar? But hang on for a second – are we forgetting something?
What about service for others? And living for the greater good?
Victor Thomas from Petaling Jaya wrote-in to The Star newspaper recently “…to express his disappointment of many people who shy away from serving on civic, community service and professional bodies… (excerpt taken from The Star newspaper dated 27 July 2013).
In his opinion piece, he asked that “why is there this reluctance to render voluntary service on an altruistic basis?”
Culture of Service: An essential building block of peace
In the past 3 months, how many of us have actually taken time off our busy schedules to volunteer for a good cause; or to commit ourselves to a community service project? As we are falling into the rat race, are we not forgetting the welfare of others; especially those who are underprivileged and those who struggle for daily survival?
One of the 3 pillars that contributed to the trifold of Global Peace Foundation’s mission that all mankind are one family under God, is about fostering the culture of service and peace. By volunteering ourselves to the service of others, then we start living for others and living for a greater good. It is a transformation from self-centeredness to others-centeredness.
These altruistic acts of serving others are not mere expressions of love and concern; but it also teaches us the compassionate values of loving, respecting and having a heart for others.
The Power of Service: Young people taking responsibility, taking charge
40 participants from GPF Malaysia’s Midnight Football project recently initiated and launched a service project to clean up the low cost flats and surrounding areas of Sri Selangor, Jalan Lengkuas in Kuala Lumpur.
The MF youngsters are aged between 15 to 17 years old. They are young. But age is not a stopping factor for them to carry out their first community service project in their life time.
What the MF youngsters did:-
Firstly, they nailed down the area and community in which they would like to carry out the service project. Then they did a thorough survey of the surrounding area and proposed course of actions. Prior to the day of service, they went around the neighborhood to spread the words. They designed and put up posters in common areas and disseminate the message via words of mouth to their family and friends.
During the service, the MF youngsters turned up in full force for the good cause. Not only did they bring along family members for the ‘gotong royong’ project; but they also spontaneously invited the children from nearby parks and playgrounds to join in the fun. The group break out into smaller teams and started their communal work at cleaning the 6 blocks of flats and its surrounding areas.
Garbage and litters were picked up. Fallen leaves were swept away. Dead rodents and other filthy trash clogging the drains were all cleaned and packed away. Rusty old bikes were recycled.
The service project was a huge success.
Its significance lies not in the transformed and new look that the neighborhood have. The service project is outstanding due to the fact that the whole project was initiated, planned and carried out by the MF youngsters themselves.
Speaking of the service project, MF participant Muhammad Iqbal’s mother exclaimed that she also took part in the activities because she wanted to play a role together with her son in doing service, and that she wanted to get to know the great people that her son s involved with.
“Social issues are prevalent these days. I wanted to make sure my son is doing the right thing, walking on the right path. I am glad that Iqbal participated in Midnight Football as I felt the program has great modules that boost the youngsters both mentally and physically. I am happy that Iqbal often came home and share with me about the places he went, the different exposures he has been getting and lately, the good deeds that he and others kids are doing for the local community! That’s why I came along – I wanted to support him and Midnight Football!”
Service for Peace: Moving onward
To sum it up, if the youngsters can initiate service for others – why can’t we?
Service and volunteerism transcends race, religion, background and many others.
The culture of service and volunteerism is essential in nation-building.
Together we can form and create a volunteers movement. It is imperative that all of us to start ‘living for the Greater Good’ and have more heart for others.
It is now time for action!
Andrea Arul Abraham
Intern, GPF Malaysia
Branding & Communications, GPF Malaysia