It’s an honorable motive to feel the need to help out others especially when we feel that we’ve been blessed enough. Isn’t it just right that we solve others’ problems for them? Or is it?
There is a twin, so very same, but also very different. One is said to be successful. The other is living in poverty. Both were asked: “Why are you what you are?”. Both of them immediately answers, “because of my parents”.
How is it possible? That two very similar people starting from the same point ended up on two different paths? Many can argue that it’s the accumulation of the many mini circumstances that they get to encounter day in and day out. But in my perspective, it’s more than those circumstances. It’s something within. It’s on every decision they choose to act on every time they are faced with mini problems.
Remove these mini circumstances and you deprive them of the opportunity to decide and learn.
When we teach our child to walk, we don’t give her a roller. According to studies, it even delays their ability to walk since they’re too safe not to fall down.
You don’t want to put your child into a roller, unless, you want to always be there for your child to carry her almost everytime, instead of allowing her to walk herself.
Your child, should she refuse to learn to walk, and want to be dependent to you, can blame you, even curse you, for not helping her to walk. But at the end of the time, regardless of how hard you want to help her, it’s really up to her to walk. Similarly, one of the twins, should you be their parents, can blame you for his misgivings. However, equally the same, the other one can thank you for doing the same.
Every one of us has our own problems to solve; may it be financially, spiritually, emotionally, physically, or mentally. And when we are solving problems, regardless of what they are, we allocate part of our limited time. Allocating 5 days working on your dancing career, means 5 days lost doing something else. An hour prioritizing your work means an hour less with your family.
Even so, time spent helping out others means time spent less for yourself and your family.
The question now is, what’s the best help you can give to others?
For me, it is giving out something that you have, but making sure that their burden is not transferred to you.
If you have 1 million pesos, and you know someone who is in need of 100.00. If you can readily give it, then give it away. For sure it’s highly likely that you won’t be bothered by it. It may be a big help for the person you’re giving it to. If it’s 800,000.00 they’re asking, probably you’ll be thinking twice. You would have spent your entire life working for the 1 million, just so you can give away 8/10 of your earning.
Will you give it? It depends. If it’s for your child, probably. If you committed your life to live it for your child alone, then you’d probably be doing it knowing your happiness is 2/10 of theirs. But in most cases, you’d be thinking twice if you wonder why should you simply give away something you worked hard for. Why won’t they work hard for it? Didn’t you?
Now, how about solving a problem. It may not be as straight forward as giving out money. But think of it this way. Everytime a problem is being solved, you allocate a certain amount to it. How do I treat a patient who has cancer? You would go to a medical school, do research, do so many clinical trials, probably fail on some tests, and voila, find a procedure and cure to treat your patient.
Bottomline, you spent time doing it.
Assuming a colleague tells you he has a patient experiencing similar problem. He asks for your advise how you did it. How will you help him?
It depends. If you think you spent quite a fortune solving this problem, you would probably patent your cure, or make yourself available for consultancy and charge your colleague a certain fee. Or probably, if this colleague is not a competition or is a very close friend, or someone you owe a favor to, you would give him a tip or two on how to solve a certain part of the problem. But I think it’s highly unlikely that you’ll divulge the entire thing, let alone cure his patient for him, while he’s getting paid for it.
Now, how about if another person asks you how can build a house. For one, do you have an experience building a house? Are you willing to spend your time to study construction, managing people, cover the learning and construction costs, just so you can answer this person of his question on how to build a house? I think you’ll ask yourself, “Why do I have to do it? Don’t I have other priorities I have to do?”
Now, what if this person doesn’t even consider building a house. Or worse, doesn’t even want to build a house. Should you take the initiative to sacrifice years and months of your life, and spend a couple of your own money, just so you can tell this person, “I think you need to know how to build a house.” It doesn’t make sense.
They say, teach a person how to fish instead of giving him a fish. But deeper than that, do you know how to fish yourself? Or is it blind teaching the blind?
Bottomline, all we can do to extend help is give a part of us that we are willing to give away. It’s very hard if the one we’re trying to give is not even ours, or we have to make the investment ourselves, absorb the losses and failures, just so we can give it to someone who may not even want our help.