Beat the Rat Race Mentality: Stop Running, Start Giving

Mar 26, 2020   |   Yap Xiao Hui

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Most of us are caught up in the rat race. We’re so wrapped up in ourselves and our self-benefitting ambitions to the point that we neglect our loved ones and the people around us.

In the academic rat race, staying ahead of our peers is how we cope. We compete against them for the highest grades, most awards and largest sum of volunteer hours accumulated.

What matters most shouldn’t only be our own achievements – it should be the achievements we unlock together as a community. And we can accomplish them through giving back.


Ways to give back

There are countless ways we can give. One way is through donating to charity, yet it doesn’t always have to be monetary contributions. Little things count too.

Start small with acts of kindness. Be it helping our grandmas with household chores (lending strength!), tutoring our siblings physics (sharing knowledge!) or lending an ear to our best friends (giving support!). These actions may seem trivial to us but, to them, it might mean the world.

Another way to change another person’s life for the better is through giving back to those in need. We can do so through long-term volunteering for a cause that we hold close to our hearts.

There are many volunteering organisations that allow us to support different causes and to serve a diversity of beneficiaries. Some such organisations include World Vision, Red Cross Society or Heartware Network.


Programmes at Heartware Network

Heartware encourages youths to give back to the community through programmes such as Heartware Tuition Programme (HWTP). HWTP provides free weekly tuition to primary school children of incarcerated parents and/or low-income families.


As tutors, the programme allows us to develop into positive role models for underprivileged children. We’ll guide them in their studies and non-academic life, moulding them into the national leaders of tomorrow.


Along the way, we can gain different outlooks on life as well as adaptability, communication and leadership skills. We’ll learn to put ourselves in the children’s shoes to meet their needs. With this, our goals will no longer only revolve around ourselves but the necessities of vulnerable communities too.


It’s about time we prioritise towards giving back to the community and restoring the selflessness, empathy and compassion we lost along the race.

Volunteering your way out

Most of us are distracted by the race. We’re busy struggling to get ahead, clawing our way through the crowd with the same distraction in mind. We’re so frightfully engrossed in the competition that we push past the helpless and leave them fallen behind.

Volunteering can teach us that life is about making meaningful contributions to build a more empowered and resilient community.

We’ll come to learn that life is not a rat race where we fight against each other for the first place. It’s about reaching the end of the line hand in hand at our own pace, contributing back to the community with a heart.

Slow down and take a look around you; someone may have fallen during the race. Give them a hand. Help them overcome the obstacles ahead as a team. It’ll mark an immense impact not only on their lives, but yours too.


A journey together, not a race

Life is not a race. We’re not racing against anything or anyone.

It is a journey. A journey of personal growth where we develop lifelong skills and help others gain theirs along the way.

Through joining programmes to support causes of beneficiaries, we can ensure that their journey runs more smoothly than before. The power of making a difference in their lives and futures for the better is in our hands.

To learn more about volunteering at our programmes, visit Heartware Facebook