Monday, October 19, 2015

The Act of Helping WITHOUT helping.

This morning, I had someone decide that I needed some "help" with my life going "better."

They proceeded to detail how I do not put in any effort and play a genie-wish game with God, looking for Him to just magically place everything I could want or need on a platter while I sit and put in zero efforts to make stuff happen for myself.

Sigh. There's a part of me that would love to detail how much I do to explain just how idiotic someone saying that to me truly is. Like, its BAD how off that sort of commentary on my life is. Especially this year, which has been my busiest year all around on moving a LOT of things forward and working a TON.

But, I don't think its worth the effort nor is it the sort of thing that would likely help the issue at hand.

Pride is a serious drug for us all. Its about time we realize that...even if it's unlikely humanity ever truly will.

Pride can create a hill upon which you can look down on other people with words and actions, even if you have convinced yourself that your perspective gives you grounds of which to "help."

Human beings have a great capacity and desire to step in when we see others in difficulties or circumstances. We feel an urge in us to do SOMETHING when its someone we care for. But, the trouble that can come from that is when the desire to help overlooks who the person IS, what the person could possible NEED to experience, and whether or not we have LISTENED well enough (or watched) to understand what the circumstance calls for.

Since we have a natural impulse to help, helping is good but, with the difficult web of existence and its many layers, "help" isn't singularly defined. It can be subjective. And it is the subjectivity of what "help" means, that can create a gap that is very difficult to properly, and respectfully, cross.

These are my three consideration which I use when feeling like I should assist. I am not saying my method is capable of being the universal means to do things properly.  I can only share and hope it is not unsound:

When someone speaks on things they need help with, take time to listen to the issue as well as to the PERSON. By knowing more about who they are and what they do, you will be able to figure out how best to be a REAL helpful friend to them. Asking questions, can also be key, especially full conversation where you leave feeling you have most if not all of the picture.

After the first step, if you know there is something you can actively do, then proceed to do it. This can be as simple as checking in on someone, making a connection they might require, or putting in a good word for them. Sometimes we feel it needs to be this huge thing, like opening up your home or giving someone a sum of money but, often, just small but distinct means of helping can "assist" someone in their OWN EFFORT. That way they walk away feeling like you supported them but didn't do ALL the work.

Again, this is my list so, prayer was always going to be a part of it. Sometimes the help needed is bigger than your network, or ambiguous than a simple phone call to an employer. Or, you might not be able to fully understand it from your perspective despite conversing fully with someone. Thankfully, I think God can handle things larger than your ability to perceive or the range of your reach. Often, I find, prayer is the BEST option. It not only gives you the chance to speak with God about someone but people tend to feel it is neat that you are asking your source of power or inspiration (whether they believe or not) on their behalf. If nothing else it very clearly displays your moral support without overstepping any bounds there may be.

Bottom line is, no one wants to "help" without actually helping someone. You'll feel bad if your effort to be nice makes someone feel like you're being ignorant or not nice towards them, when they are in the midst of crisis. I think that we should help one another if we can. Consideration of whom and how others are, should be the first place in getting to the destination of assisting, though.

Don't end up looking or sounding like a jerk. Be a TRUE friend who is actually helpful.

- Conduct Lionhardt

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