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'No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.'

In the midst of Covid-19, commonly referred to as the coronavirus, it is evident that human beings are overcome with base instincts such as fear, selfishness, and being unempathetic.

Having said this, a growing number of people are beginning to band together, working hard in an effort to triumph over this "invisible killer”. It goes without saying that the nation owes a great deal to the NHS staff and all the other key workers who are, quite literally, putting other people’s lives before their own.

As this is a blog about religion, I wanted to highlight what religious and non-religious communities are doing to play their part in helping society. There is a Hindu guru (spiritual teacher) by the name of Pramukh Swami Maharaj who lived his life by the motto, ‘In the joy of others, lies our own.’ Many people around the world seem to be, knowingly and unknowingly, taking guidance from this motto. My community, among many others, have been phoning the elderly to ensure that they are healthy and have enough food in their houses to last the week. If not, the shopping is done for them and left outside their doors. We have heard of countless people sending food and flowers to the NHS staff, and Tesco has been sending food to the doctors and nurses who tirelessly fight to save people’s lives. Places of worship such as temples like BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden and Bhaktivedanta Manor, churches, and synagogues have been closed to help contain the spread of the virus.

As a secondary school teacher, it has been truly incredible to see companies and websites coming together by removing prices and allowing teachers, parents, and students to use them for free. Yes, as Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock stated earlier this week, we are “at war with an invisible killer”; however, the unity within our society will ultimately dictate the type of people we are. Introspect. Reflect. Are you the person that puts their need to exercise outside in the park with your friends in front of other people’s lives? We’ve heard countless times that the world would be a better place if everyone was kind and compassionate - and it is true! Now, it is proving difficult to even go shopping for the elderly, so try something else. After all, every little helps! Perhaps you can help a friend with their online lessons and work, send a message to someone and check in on them, send a message to someone who is struggling to cope mentally and speak with them. You could have a video call with members of your family if you do not live with them, exercise indoors like so many others (or in the garden if you have one), read books, make vlogs, write blogs... You can partake in whatever your interest is- provided it is within the realms of your home. We have the power to change the world, so do not waste it.

To end, whichever religion you may look at, kindness, respect, and compassion always shine bright. We must admire these qualities and aim to imbibe them within us. To all the RS students, here is a list of religious quotes that you may well recognise!

1. “In the joy of others, lies our own.” - Pramukh Swami Maharaj

2. “A gift is pure when it is given from the heart to the right person at the right time and at the right place, and when we expect nothing in return.” - Bhagavad Gita 17:20-22

3. “My religion is simple. My religion is kindness.” – Dalai Lama

4. “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” – Leviticus 19.18

5. “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." –Matthew 5-7:27 (KJV)

Stay safe!

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