A few days ago, I recieved the terrible news that the family of a friend of mine experienced one of the most difficult things a person could ever experience and that was an earthquake. Thankfully they are OK but the earthquake that happened in Ercis in the eastern province of Van in Turkey registered at 7.2 and it has been reported that somewhere between 250 and 500 may have died. However, the prediction is that it could be up to 1,000. Many people have reacted by donating to charities. I definitely think that this is a necessary and worthwhile thing to do in times of emergency and is something I would encourage everybody to take part in. However, while making my own donation, it got me thinking not only about the nature of charity and what we should expect from such organisations, but also about the nature of help itself and who really gets the most benefit from a situation in which help is offered and taken.
Being helpful is often touted as one of the best things we can be as humans. And when we are helpful, it really feels good to us. We like knowing that someone else has benefitted because of our input and we sometimes even brag about how helpful we have been to others.
But when you really think about it, don’t you think there is more than a little bit of ego edging it’s way into the situation? Sure, we may convince ourselves that we are doing it purely for the benefit of others but are we? I’m sure you have been in some type of relationship situation in which one person’s help was used as a way to exercise control over the other person and you probably didn’t even realise it. Men do it to women all the time, as do women to men and parents do it to their children. In these cases, the help is given as a way to gain approval or validation while often holding the other person in some sort of ‘holding pattern’ of weakness. Oftentimes one person continually asks for help as a way of getting attention.
Things brings me to a famous Abraham Hicks quote: ”When you shore up another person’s weakness with your strength you help them not.” meaning, the desire to offer help is often fuelled by the ego’s need for validation or the need to feel better or stronger than that other person, so in fact, the act of helping another is often turned on its head as it really is us helping ourselves to feel better, often at the other person’s expense. Why do I say it has happened at the other person’s expense? Because, in offering to help someone do something that they may find difficult, you are preventing them from learning the skills they need to develop in order to do it themselves and ultimately lead a more fullfilling and autonomous life.
So how do we help people?
You have one priority in life and that is to get connected with your source energy and when you are connected with that and see the other person in there as well and then you imagine the person thriving rather than being weak and needing help, you are seeing that person as their source sees them. This is the best possible help you can give them.
Bearing this in mind, there will be times when a little help is required long the way. A friend who is feeling low may need a few positive words of encouragement to inspire them into action. Someone you know may need some of your expertise to help them overcome an obstacle or a small financial loan to go towards an asset that will help them in the future. There is nothing wrong with this. But when you offer help, you must always be doing it in the spirit of helping them along their way, helping to get back to who they really are – independent, strong and prosperous, not weak and desperate. Any worthwhile charitable organisation understands this and offers programs of guidance and support to the community it is serving rather than simply handouts. And never feel bad about not helping someone who is in the habit of continually asking for it rather than finding ways to help themselves because you doing nothing but falling into the trap of giving them attention. Explain to them that you think it is time they learned how to do things themselves and offer to show them how, then leave them to it.
On that note, if you feel like donating something to the earthquake appeal, you can do it though this link: http://yalnizdegilsinvan.wordpress.com/international/. Because I think in this case, you will be helping people facing a temporary setback in a real way to re-build their lives.
Have a great day