Sophrosyne

How do you want to live your life?

How to help others

on November 20, 2012

‘The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own’. – Benjamin Disraeli

This is the message that I have chosen to share with the volunteers of the organisation that I am working for. It seemed like an easy enough message to understand but to truly appreciate the impact of it requires an actual experience. Seeing someone realise their own potential is such a great feeling!

Many people donate money to help charities; and yes, money is very important and their generosity is greatly appreciated! But what I would like to discuss here is not the issue of whether you donate money or not. If you have money to spare, of course! Donate whatever you can spare! There are many things that cannot be achieved without money, therefore the debate is not about financial support at all. Now that we are clear on this, let’s move on.

The issue that I have chosen to tackle today is entirely different. Have a think about this scenario: Would you provide someone with a year’s supply of food or would you send him to a course where he will learn how to grow his own? While you are thinking about this; allow me to give you another example of personal empowerment. I am sure you know who is Oprah; in her humanitarian work in Africa to reduce AIDS, she could easily bombard the country with millions of condoms; instead she chose to educate the women. Getting the message?

So, here is mine: if you have the heart and desire to want to help another, instead of sharing your strengths with them; help them discover their own. It is not about you, or what you can do for them. It is about helping them discover what they can do on their own for themselves. Take away your yardsticks and personal expectations. Every one grows at a different pace, and each have their own unique discovery journey to take. Your role is more like that of a model; you provide an example for them to observe and if they like what they see, it is then up to them to copy and make it their own.

Remember that your aim is to help them discover their own strengths so that they can continue to live a fulfilled life. It is never about sharing what you have because how long do you intend to be there for them? Help them grow their wings so that one day they will soar. But if their strength is swimming then that is great too! The best thing you can do for someone is to help them discover their potential because the natural progression that follows will be increased self-esteem and hope for the future. Makes sense right? Once you know what you are good at; then you know how to plan for your future and the future will not be as unknown and scary as it seems. This should be the outcome for the people you are trying to help. Helping them find their own life tools within themselves.

Hopefully I did not lose too many of you today; I did try to be as clear as I can. Not to worry if you are a little confused. You will understand this one day. In the meantime, as long as you keep your own ego out-of-the-way and your heart in the right place. Anyway you are helping will aid the person you intend to help.

 


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