Ramadan 2023 Appeal
Altruism Part 1 of 2
Channel: Haleh Banani
File Size: 9.60MB
Pay it forward and see how quickly you can improve the quality of your life and make the world a better place by doing random acts of kindness to strangers without expecting anything in return.
Episode Transcript ©
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Assalamualaikum. And thank you for joining in. We're living at a time where people are more selfish and more self absorbed than any other time in the past. And they're opportunists lurking everywhere trying to use people trying to get whatever it takes to move ahead. And really the remedy and the cure to this is altruism. altruism is doing an act, an act of kindness, to possibly a complete stranger, and expecting nothing in return. And you will be amazed with this kind of act can have a profound impact, it can have a profound impact on yourself and on the world around us. Now, as far as making the world a better place, I want you to try doing random acts of kindness. And this is you
can come up with anything, whether it's helping a person who has a small child, and you help them maybe, and I just experienced this actually on a flight, there was a mother who was very restless with a baby who was crying, crying, crying, and she couldn't get him to stop. So just by providing the assistance being there trying to make the baby better, that is an act of altruism. Or you can see someone who's maybe their meter, their parking meter has run out, and you just simply put some money in there, so they don't get a ticket, or you can help someone carry something. And it could be all these small acts, or it could be very large, grand acts that could help a person. Martin Luther
King Jr, states that every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism, or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. So we each have a choice that we can either choose to be a giving, loving, altruistic person, or we choose to be very selfish, self absorbed, and into just feeding our own ego and our own needs. Now, those individuals who choose to live altruistically, they will not only be helpful to the community, but they will feel peace with it. And also the people will end up loving a person like this as well. So you'll always be surrounded by by very positive energy and positive people. And it reminds me of the Hadith of the Prophet
sallallahu alayhi wa sallam that says, When a man loves someone, he tells the gibreel, I need to love the person. And he also tells the angels to love them. And I love puts the love into the hearts of the people for this person. So this is one of the one of the benefits of being altruistic. It is a way of bringing joy to each person we see. So if you come across any person, whether it's in the grocery store, or at the school or at your work, and you just try to think to yourself, how can I bring joy to this person, and sometimes it's by by a compliment, a sincere compliment, because there's nothing worse than giving just flattery with where you don't really mean it. So you give a
compliment. Maybe you can help them, listen to them, and somehow share the or spread some joy.
As you get up in the morning, look at each person you come across first of all your spouse, try to say something or do something that will bring joy into their life, your children, when you're interacting with them, try to fill them with happiness and confidence and send them off to school with a feeling of like positive feeling. And do that throughout the day with each person that you come in contact with. Think to yourself, how can I bring joy to this person. And usually what happens is that people do things for others as either a way to get things or as a way of paying back a favor, that there is a new concept, which is paying it forward. So instead of paying back someone,
you pay it forward, and there is actually a movie called paying it forward, which had a really simple yet beautiful message. And that is each person pays it forward does an act of kindness to a complete stranger, and tells that person to do it to three other people. And this is a way that it creates a ripple effect that you are doing it to someone you're not expecting anything in return. And it's a way of actually training your soul. When you train your soul to be kind to people. It will get you to step outside of yourself. You're not so consumed.
There's a lot of times people get so involved in their own problems. They're just thinking about their bills and their family and their work and all the things that are stressing them out. But if you train yourself, and this is an act of mindfulness, where you're in the present, and you start thinking about all that's going on around you, and outside of you, and looking and anticipating the needs of others, and you start seeing that maybe this person needs a little help, and you start providing your assistance, this trains yourself trains your soul to be less egotistic. Because the ego has a way of just, you know, just growing bigger and bigger. And if we don't tame the ego, then
it'll go out of control. So this is a way we tame our ego, we try to become more helpful to others and it has an amazing effect on the society and on yourself. So with each act that you do, if you think to yourself that you're doing this and you're not expecting anything in return, but you do it with the conviction, that good begets good, you're doing fair and you know that fair will come back to you, but not necessarily from the person Allah says and sudut Zana Bismillah R Rahman r Rahim Sunday, all about her at 10 height, I want
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era, that if a person does an atom's weight, of good that he will see it, he will see it and he will be rewarded for it. And if a person does an atom's weight of evil, he will also see it and see the consequence of it. When you do an act with that conviction that everything that you do is seen and that you will be held accountable for it and you will be rewarded for it. You'll do it with such eagerness and such excitement, because you know, that as you do good, good will be get good. When you do a kind act, it will have a ripple effect. The ripple effect is when you take a stone and you throw it into a still lake and you see the circles this ripple effect. And so your kind act could
affect so many people and it will motivate them to do the to do the same Allah says in Surah Baqarah Ayah number 261 Bismillah R Rahman r Rahim matter my fellow Ludhiana secona Amala. He said in Illa, he can definitely have Patton that that savasana
can not only have Putin, but that savasana biLlahi holy song bola 10 bulletin Allah to have wallow who you boy fully May
Allah who was selling Eileen, and this is saying that the likeness of those who spend for Allah sake is as the likeness of a grain of corn, it grows seven IRS every year has 100 grains and allow multiplies for whom He wills and a law is sufficient for his creatures needs all noer Okay, so this is saying that just like one kernel of corn, okay, when you plant it, it can give you up to 700 seats, then the same way you can do one kind out, you can help a person, you can
give a kind word to them do something, and that can be multiplied and get you 700 degrees of adger. So this is a very motivating thing for us to do here. Because we realize that Allah is so incredibly merciful, and that we do a simple act, and it could count up to 700 times for us. I've spoken before about the power of asking the right questions. So the question you can ask is, how can I make my world a better place? So your world could be your school, your children's school, the workplace, maybe your mosque, maybe the neighborhood? So ask yourself, how can you make it better? Let's take your children's school, you see, you look at it and see, what does it need? Does it need more
funding? Do you need maybe to breathe life into the PTA? Do you need to maybe help and volunteer look at it and see how you can improve it. Or you can look at your mosque for instance, maybe it needs some renovation, maybe you need to set up a way of cleaning it or setting up new events, new lectures, make it something that's more exciting for people to attend. And so in each area of your life, you can look and see how can you make it? How can you make it better? And the questions that you ask will empower you to actually make a difference. And instead of asking, why isn't my world a better place you ask how can I make it a better place and it reminds me of the
quote of john F. Kennedy that says, Ask not what your country can do for you ask what can I do for my country? And I think when we think about things, it's about reframing, reframing the situation, and thinking about how can you impact your society and it actually puts responsibility on the person. Because if we sit here and we talk about why is, why is society like this? Why is the school not good? Why is the message falling apart? When we ask this, we're putting the responsibility on someone else? And it's the easy thing. And that's what usually people do, they sit back, they complain and put the responsibility on others, why aren't things better? But if we start asking
ourselves, what can I do as an individual to make things better, then you're suddenly taking on, you're taking charge, being proactive, and actually doing something about it. Gandhi says, You must be the change that you want to see in the world. So when you look at your world, and you see that you want things you want to see more honesty, be more honest, you want it to be cleaner, you yourself be cleaner, in summary, acts of altruism is helping or doing something for another person without wanting anything in return. So join me after the break, what I will share with you more benefits of altruism.
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satellite channel, Welcome back, we're talking about taking responsibility to make your world a better place to ask what you can do. And the benefits of altruism, I mentioned that it does make your environment better. And now the second benefit is the psychological.
Well, being that you get, first of all, you will feel more peaceful, I want you to think back to the last time you did like an acts of charity, or an acts of altruism, I can think back to when I went and visited the students of knowledge here and it is hot. And they are students from all over the world coming here, having very small needs. And when I helped them, there was such a feeling of satisfaction at peace and tranquility, that I don't think anything could compare to that feeling. So it's the feeling of peace, and it makes you less depressed. So I have clients that are diagnosed with severe depression. They're also they're even suicidal people who have attempted to kill
themselves. And one of the things I tell them as a remedy to this is to go out and help individuals who are in need. And when they do this, they see that immediately they start feeling good because it's a way of stepping out of themselves and helping and feeling that they can actually make a difference. Allah says in certain harsh I am number nine, the smilla rahmanir rahim were your third or
forcing him what Oh, can I be him Halsall saw that and they give others preference over themselves, even though they themselves were in need. And this is when when you are in some sort of trial or tribulation, maybe you have an illness. And yet you go out and help people that this is this is so admirable. And there have been some studies done on on patients who are have dialysis or their transplant patients, and they start helping other transplant patients or other dialysis. And you can imagine the impact that this has. So imagine these are individuals in the hospital. And they are they're suffering, they have ailments they are in need. And yet they prefer others over themselves
and they start helping out. But you know, what happens is that they themselves are the ones who received the benefits because they start feeling better. They are they experience less depression, and it has such a positive impact on that. I have clients who are severely depressed because they had a family member diagnosed with either cancer or some kind of major illness. And one of the things that I read suggested is for them to get involved in the cancer hospital and help other patients. And you cannot imagine that this person who used to feel so down and so depressed, started getting a new purpose in life. They felt that they can have an impact. They started feeling that
they were much better off than a lot of the other patients so it has a very positive psychological benefit. Study researcher Carol Schwartz from University of Massachusetts Medical School says that the act of giving to someone has mental health benefits because the very
Nature of focusing outside of the self counters the self focus nature of anxiety or depression. So when someone is anxious or depressed, they're usually focusing within themselves, and they're self absorbed. So when you start doing acts of altruism, and you're starting to help others, it makes you step outside of yourself. So it really helps with this feeling of depression or anxiety. Now, the third benefit is stress relief, we all have so much stress, when you are stressed, you may feel that you're not up to giving to someone or helping or doing acts of altruism. But in reality giving can activate a part of your brain that is associated with positive feelings. So you do it and you start
feeling good. And what it does is that it decreases the intensity and awareness of pain. So if you're living with pain, I worked actually in the hospital with individuals with chronic pain. And this actually is a form of distraction. When you do acts of kindness and you're out helping others, it will take attention away from yourself and your pain, and you start focusing on others, you will also have more positive and hopeful attitude. And this is vital to maintaining good health, a person who is optimistic and is hopeful, will definitely have better health. And it reduces any kind of hostility or negativity. So if you're feeling negative, or you're feeling down, and you start doing
these acts, you find that it reduces the negativity, you also experience a helpers. Hi, and this is like a feeling of euphoria, you feel so good. And it's followed by a long period of calm. And it usually comes about when you're actually interacting with the people. So it's never enough to just donate. And you should try to go see the people being contact with them. Because that's in that exchange is when you get all of that positive feelings.
And it actually helps the body to release natural painkillers, endorphins. And that's actually what causes the helpers high. Another benefit of altruism is that it has a healing effect. That is a survival strategy for people who have had tragic experiences. So for instance, if there are parents who have lost their children, and they were never able to find them, what they do, they will go out on a campaign, and they will start sharing their experience to others. Or sometimes there are rape victims, people who have raped, and they go, and they try to share their story to somehow shed light, or share their wisdom or share their experience in a way to kind of make sense of it all. And
they This is actually a way to survive the tragedy that they have experienced. So you find that they do this, it's a way of not only helping the society, okay, but it also helps them because it gives meaning to what they have experienced. In summary, the act of altruism can have positive impact on your community, and also on yourself. It has psychological benefits, it helps you to reduce your stress. And it even has a healing effect. If you have gone through something very difficult, very tragic. And by helping others it will help you. And if you join me next week, I will continue on the benefits of of altruism. But right now I'd like to take the time to answer a question from a from
one of the viewers, Mr. Mohammed Akram from Algeria. He asked about his anger and how he could control his anger. And I would just like to mention that one of the first things you can do is pause. When you feel angry, you need to stop and try to take a moment to take some do some deep breathing, and relaxation techniques and be aware of your self talk. Because whatever you're saying to yourself, you can either make the situation worse or better. So if you're saying that this is the worst thing that ever happened, I can't believe that this happened. It will get you more fired up and you'll be more angry. But if you start saying that things are going to be fine, everything's
going to be under control and you start talking yourself into a calm state, you will be a lot more calm. What I suggest is if you look up on YouTube with hyla, and I have a two part program on controlling your anger, and you'll get a much more detailed description on how to control your anger. Thank you for joining me Zack alafaya and salaam aleikum
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