What’s in it for me?

Maliha Jafri

How many times has someone asked you to do something and you said, “What’s in it for me?” or vice versa. Why can’t people do things just to help someone out? Is there no humanity left? Why are people so selfish?

If there is a shortage of blood, what do you do? Sit back and relax and think that someone else will donate. What if everyone thinks that the next person will donate and no one ever does? Think of how many people will die because there was a shortage of blood donors. How long does it take to give blood? Ten-twenty minutes? What if your loved one needed blood but unfortunately there wasn’t a matching blood type? What would you do? You would want someone to donate the blood, right? What if they died because they had a rare blood type and there wasn’t enough in stock? Wouldn’t you want someone of that blood type to donate at that point?

I know that this is an extreme but still, it happens in some countries. Every little bit counts but you have to do your part. And it’s not just about giving blood. Rather, it’s about doing something in your power to help someone who doesn’t have that power.

It is about helping the disadvantaged or those with lesser power or authority or those who are in need. If you have enough of something for yourself and some left over, you can afford to donate it.

The designers burn their leftover clothes and accessories when the season is over rather than give it away to the needy just because they are “name brand.” How is that OK?

I’ve seen restaurants throw away extra food in the trash can rather then give it to the homeless person sitting next to the trash can. Imagine, if restaurants gave away their extra food to the homeless so many people would not have to go to sleep on an empty stomach. Just image the difference it would make in the world if everyone did their part to help out. It’s like that story about the starfishes.

Somehow tons of starfish got washed up on the shore. A little girl came and started picking them up one by one and throwing then back into the ocean. A man walked up to the girl and asked her what she was doing. She told him she was saving the starfishes. The man laughed and said that she was just one person and that she couldn’t save them all. The girl looked at him and smiled.

She told him that she knew that she was only one person and that she couldn’t save all the starfishes, but then she picked a starfish and threw it in the ocean and said, “But I just saved that one.” And she kept throwing the starfishes back into the ocean and saying, “and that one, and that one?” until she could because she was doing her part.

I don’t know how true this is but it proves my point: Every little bit counts. Even if you don’t see a direct reaction, it helps.

Ramadan teaches us, as humans, to be thankful for what we have and makes us realize not to take little things for granted. When fasting in Ramadan, it is only for a few hours that you don’t have food and water, yet there are people in the world who go through so much more.

Also, doing your part will make you feel good that you helped someone, that you made yourself useful and that you made a difference in someone’s life.

It’s like Eleanor Roosevelt said, “It seems to me that we should leave some mark upon the world and not just pass away, for what good will that do?”