The UAE government and its leaders have worked tirelessly to use their resources to create a stable, tolerant, safe and happy place for everyone to live, work and raise their families. As an Emirati this thought weighs on my mind daily. The rights we have as Emiratis are exceptional and we are privileged to be part of this great nation...so along with all these rights, have we considered our responsibilities?
Often, we hear stories of amazing and courageous acts by men and women across the world, these often involve spectacular and sensational things done or sacrificed for the love of country. This has me thinking about the patriot within myself…If I am never put in an extreme circumstance, could I ever show my patriotism and love for my country?
Most us will not be among the heroes who give the ultimate sacrifice in the armed forces, nor will we be in the political sphere, so how then do we show our love for this beautiful country of ours? Is it an extra-large flag draped over my car on December 2nd? Is donning my abaya (national dress) to show the pride that I have in being Emirati?
I would like to throw out there the idea of the “everyday patriot”, this is someone just like you and me, who does little things every single day which add up to a lifetime of service.
The immediate thought that comes to mind is WORK, I feel this is most relevant because it is something we all do. The work ethic that you and I bring to our jobs is a responsibility we carry to pay back the debt to a nation which has given us everything.
Showing up to work on time, putting away your cell phone during meetings or at your desk (particularly for those in customer facing roles), taking on stretch assignments, respecting your colleagues… these are basic things that can make a big difference in how you work and how you influence the work of others. The effort you put into your job is a reflection of the gratitude that you have for all that you have been afforded. This is applicable to EVERYONE (both Emirati and Expat alike) who has benefited from living in the UAE.
Putting your best foot forward in small ways everyday adds up to a lifetime of great things and in the realm of the everyday, one thing we can all implement immediately is bringing our best self to the work place.
But to my brothers and sisters, the fact that we are Emirati is not something you or I earned, we could have been born in another country and our lives would be dramatically different. We are a people who believe that our deeds matter, so why wait until the big Hollywood moment to do good when the opportunity presents itself everyday?
You and I have a responsibility to our nation, to our families, our children and our neighbors to be the best that we can be. Stop limiting yourself and become the person who inspires others to do great things by the example you set. Be the everyday patriot 😊