Does your existence matter?

A close friend ran 60K today for charity. Starting 4am, he finished at noon. He did the same two years ago; and he will do it again next year. As much as he loves running, 60K is no easy task – mentally or physically.
My contribution: I was a distance marshal at the 55K mark. (Yes, a bit pathetic)

(Detour: while we were standing at our point in the rain, since we had a cooler box with us, people looked at us strangely – as if ‘ who are these freaks going on a picnic in this weather! 🙂 anyway, almost every other passer by in a car offered to give us a ride somewhere; that was nice – it’s quite rare in Dubai!)

It’s also rare that people (in Dubai specially) make use of their hobbies for a cause. Guess where there is a will to give back to society, there is a way. And it doesn’t have to be some life uprooting sacrifice.

I have wanted to do some community work for a while now. Although I have done the odd thing, I have always found an excuse not to be part of anything in which my contribution will make a significant difference. Don’t have time, Dubai does’nt let you contribute in a way that is fulfilling enough, need to find something ‘big’ enough to be part of for it will be fulfilling, etc etc.

I had the opportunity to train and run 20K in this run. But no, who’s going to train at 6am every Friday.
I had the opportunity to run a donation tent for Tsunami in Dubai, I could have volunteered for a week in Thailand when I was there last year.

Crap huh.

On raving about the thrill of my profession (Public Relations), to a close relative recently – he asked me a very simple yet hard hitting question: How are your communication skills adding value to anything that matters in this world?


A colleague of a family friend, quite a high flying corporate individual, spends a few hours of his weekend at labour camps in Dubai; helping labourers complete their visa/labour forms and helping them understand their rights.

Hats off to him, to my ultra-runner friend, and to everyone who has got their act together and is doing their bit.

I seem to have enough inspiration to do something. Just need to figure out how I can be part of the mix.


  1. Perhaps you should organize a Salsathon for charity. I’m sure you would get a lot of people who would be interested. But then again, I dont know much about Salsa to know whether it might work.

  2. Actually we did that 2 years ago for a fellow salsera who needed heart surgery and a complete blood transfusion. We raised AED33,000.

  3. its true – when you think about it that way – it adds a new dimension to what you really want to do – because inspiration has cuased you to go beyond the commercial gain – but shouldn’t that already be waht you are doing?

    good post.

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