Doing good is easy, Shaikh Mohammad says
Read the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE’s letter to the nation
Published: 23:43 December 26, 2016 Gulf News
By His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Dubai: Brothers and sisters, I have a few words I would like to say to the people of the UAE on the occasion of the UAE President launching the Year of Giving. As the New Year begins, I hope it would bring more giving, blessings, happiness and safety and security for our families, sons, daughters and our nation, the UAE.
What do we want from the Year of Giving? What’s this giving that we are seeking? How can the UAE benefit from the Year of Giving? What is it that each one of us can offer this year to oneself and one’s community?
Giving is a word we heard and a trait we witnessed during the era of Shaikh Zayed. We are witnessing the same today during the reign of his sons. Dear brothers, in my modest experience, the definition of giving is not confined merely to volunteering or giving or being generous. Real giving lies in making a difference in another person’s life, or the life of a community, or in the journey of a nation. That’s the meaning of real giving which I learnt from Shaikh Zayed.
Allah created us to do good, and, therefore, it should not be hard to practise it. It is not hard to make a difference. Every father may ask himself what he can do for his family this year. Every mother can make a great change in her family, her district and her community. Every son may ask himself what he can offer to his father and mother to make them happy and make a difference in their lives.
Doing good is easy, and one can do so in numerous ways. Giving is feeding the birds, smiling at your neighbour, doing your job in the best way possible, being kind to your co-workers, being responsible and making people happy. Every one of us can do good in our own environs. We can all make a real difference right where we are.
The place where we live can always do with some charity work. We can clean the beaches or the deserts. We can take care of the trees. We can be kind to our fellow citizens. The role of volunteers is highly important. We can volunteer for an hour, a day or a week, and can contribute by using the skills or knowledge that we have. We can volunteer by contributing our energy or money, but volunteer we must to make a difference in the community.
My dear brothers, we spend our entire lives acquiring skills and qualifications and adding to our wealth. However, we will not understand the real meaning of life unless we start giving to those in need. We cannot be contented at heart till we start giving. I personally know many good and charitable investors and businessmen, and hope that others would also follow this path of charity and ask themselves the same question: How can we make a change? I know that many of them are willing to do so and we will work to support them during this Year of Giving.
There are opportunities galore. They can build homes for people with disabilities or for the elderly. They can build clinics or health centres, or contribute funds towards educational or health causes. Alternatively, they can launch an initiative in the environmental or humanitarian sphere.
I even know investors who built residential compounds for citizens, supported needy people to get married or contributed towards infrastructure projects. The UAE is proud of these investors, and expresses appreciation and gratitude towards them.
I say to our governmental institutions: your work is about giving untiringly. Your consistent aim is to usher in real change in our country. In the Year of Giving, we expect you to come up with bold initiatives. I want you to open your doors to volunteers and enforce a culture of volunteering and serving the nation through the educational curricula. I want you to join hands with, and provide opportunities to, the private sector to undertake charitable missions. We need to formulate an appropriate legislative framework in which everyone can volunteer. We need to devise ways to reward those who make a positive change.
Dear brothers and sisters, we are approaching a new year, a Year of Giving and blessings, and I hope it will only add to the sense of loyalty in our community.
I am very optimistic about the year 2017, and I am hopeful that it will usher in permanent change for the better in our society. Finally, let me say that the best thing to happen by the time the Year of Giving comes to an end would be that we would have succeeded in inculcating philanthropic values among our younger generation.
May God Bless the UAE, and may it gloriously continue to do good