By Sarah Schroeder
We’ve survived the first 14 days of Ramadan, with this weekend marking the half-way point! Every day so far has been a blessing with delicious food, heightened appreciation for our families and friends, and love. The days of fasting are eased by the spirituality and new sense of self gained in Ramadan. Even if you’re not fasting, it’s hard not to feel a change in atmosphere. After two weeks, you might notice more calmness, understanding and insight, love and care, and piety.
The events following Monday morning June 5, 2017, when Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt cut diplomatic ties with Qatar will not shake us or our Ramadan spirit in Qatar. Instead, life has continued as usual, placing faith in Qatar and our Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. We continue to observe the Holy Month with fasting, prayer, education, and kindness. ILQ has proposed seven acts of kindness each week of Ramadan for you and everyone else – in Qatar or abroad – to try! Have you completed all good deeds from the first and second week of Ramadan?
The size of the act of kindness doesn’t matter – all gestures of kindness help make you a good person. This week’s good deeds focus on helping others, being good to animals and the environment, and help you take care of yourself. Let’s have a look shall we?
1. Have coffee with a friend
We often struggle to find time for old friends and get caught up in our everyday life. Ramadan gives us the opportunity to reflect on our daily life, our actions, and our selves. How our time is spent becomes very important during this month. So instead of binge-watching Netflix, invite a friend over for coffee. Either after Iftar or, if you’re not fasting, at one of the cafés still open in Ramadan. Time with friends is time well-spent.
2. Pick up the phone with a friendly voice
First impressions are critical! Do you pay attention to how you answer the phone? For the third week of Ramadan, why not try to pick up the phone with a friendly and enthusiastic voice? Tone is key! It might just change the other person’s mood and the nature of the call.
Charity is more than just giving money. Reach Out To Asia (ROTA) has some fantastic volunteering opportunities this month. You can sign up on their website as a volunteer and decide which project you might want to be a part of. Volunteer on your own, together with your friends, or as a family activity.
4. Give way to someone when driving
One aspect of life in Qatar we can always try to change and improve is driving and its associated road-rage. Attitudes on the road are so important when a lot of our time is spent driving. One good moment during our daily trips can affect our outlook for the rest of the day. Spread a little generosity and patience by giving way to someone, or letting them pass even if we don’t have to. We know that no matter if good or bad – what goes around, comes around!
5. Keep your surroundings tidy and clean
A small act of kindness with big effects. Look around you. Is there any clutter or garbage? We feel good when our surroundings look good. Our minds are calmer, and concentration is better when we find ourselves in a tidy setting. Also, picking up trash is a way to take care of our environment.
6. Bring Iftar to the workplace
Plan an Iftar with your colleagues. Iftar is a great way to bond – especially when fasting is done collectively in your office. Get to know your team a little better while sharing a delicious meal. Whether you’re literally bringing an Iftar to the office, or taking the team to a restaurant, the experience will bring you closer together and ensure a warm and friendly working climate. At ILQ we frequently eat and spend time together, making us feel like a little family!
7. Think of a handful of things to be grateful for
After two weeks of reflection during Ramadan, what have we learned? Every Ramadan we can learn something new about ourselves. What’s important to us? Let’s think of five things this week that we’re grateful for. Think of things that are specific to you as a person! Being appreciative, thankful, and less focused on material items are important aspects of Ramadan and good deeds.
Do you think you’ll be able to complete these wonderful acts of kindness? Each good deed is different from the next, but all of them carry great rewards. Let us know how you get on with this week’s acts of kindness! What’s important to your Ramadan spirit? Share your insights with us, and don’t forget to give us a like and share – it keeps us going!
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