To help or not to help others

“Speak to all people as though they are the wisest, gentlest and most beautiful beings on Earth; for what they believe, they become.” – Heather K. O’Hara

The history of mankind is full of lamentable wars and conflicts. In each case, there are stories of how individuals helped others fighting for the same cause. In times of peace, how much are we willing to help one another and why would we be willing to do it? 


How natural it is to help others?

For many years, I’ve been living in my cloud of naiveté where I believed that everyone is willing to help others.

I thought that every human being is ready to …

Be aware of others needs. For example, sitting in the train and listening to the narration of the person sitting opposite to you.

Offer flowers to show appreciation, admiration, love or even encouragement.

Offer drinks or dinner to a friend who happens to go through a tough time.

Smile at strangers, whether that’s the shop assistant or the person with whom you have a random eye contact in the street.

Say encouraging words. Observing a particular strength that someone has and say it to that person when she may feel under the weather.

Give a lift, etc

In Finland, I became acquainted with another way of living – I can do it alone, I don’t need help and I don’t offer it either. As a result, if I push a pram, carry a back bag and hold a shopping bag while leaving the supermarket, I am prepared to depend solely on my physical strength to see my way through the shop door.

Helping at any cost?

Of course, helping others shouldn’t become a burden for ourselves. For example, should a friend ask for a lift at 3 am, then maybe we can politely suggest to use the service of a night taxi.

Helping others should feel good. If we feel uncomfortable about smiling for example, then we should not do it.

But if we are willing to help people, and yet too shy to approach them, then we may want to do something about our shyness.

At the same time, when it comes to approaching strangers, then we may want to use our common sense and figure out what would be the best way of offering help. For example, some mothers would not accept any help with getting the pram in the bus.

Offering and receiving help is a choice.

Why should we help?

The short and simple answer is because we WANT to help. Most certainly, each human being has her motivation for helping. As far as I am concerned, I admit that I feel happy and useful when I help someone.

If I am to receive help from someone else, I prefer to receive it from people who have the same motivation as me for doing it.

Helping someone and expecting something in return is not help. It’s manipulative behaviour, which makes the person who’s been helped to feel indebted.

Helping – expecting anything in return or spreading joy?

When we help with all our heart and good intentions, we contribute to the betterment of goodness in the world. We may inspire other people to do the same.

Helping for the sake of helping increases the awareness of interconnection between individuals. We may not be aware how much our happiness is affected by others happiness, until we are in a group of people. Then we have the chance to see how uplifted or down we may feel depending on the general mood in the group.

So, if you are one of those who believe in helping others, let’s start planting seeds of happiness in people more often. And let’s see how much happier we will become.

Yes, it does take some of our time and energy to think of others and sometimes some money to help others. But we wouldn’t have survived so far, if we hadn’t taken care of one another.