Thursday, August 2, 2007

Paradoxical Commandment #9

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them. Help people anyway.

I totally relate to this one. Independent person that I am, (I even added the word Independent to my business name) I have never been able to accept help easily. As far back as I can remember my mantra has always been, “I’d rather do it myself”. Besides, no one can do it better than me. :) Sound familiar?

We all need help at one time or another with decisions, moral dilemmas, coping and our lives. Nobody knows it all inasmuch as we would love to think we do. I have a sign in my office that states “I know it all – I just can’t remember it all at once.” I leave that sign there to remind me how silly it is to think I can do everything alone.

Another reason someone may not want to receive help is that they cannot face their inadequacies. This is called denial. I don’t know where or when, in our society, the seed got planted that it was cowardly to accept help but I think it takes courage to admit you are not a superman/woman and it’s OK.

What about the saying “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours”. Sometimes this is an unspoken motto among unscrupulous people. I have known people who have held grudges for years because their neighbor, friend, or relative did not reciprocate “favors”, therefore, they would never help anyone again unless they were assured the deed would be returned.

How can you determine if someone is in true need? People in need may be struggling with their pride or self-image. Sometimes it is hard to acknowledge that life just isn’t what it used to be. Think about the basics. People need food, clothing and shelter. They need friends. Don’t let their attacks toward you stop you because more often than not, they are not attacking you personally.

A statement from "Anyway" author Kent M. Keith says “Others have helped you over and over again. Now it’s your turn. Enjoy the deep meaning that comes from assisting others in appropriate ways and improving their quality of life.”

Write it down,


  1. Hey Carma -- the link to the newsletter is newsletter at

    that "here" should have gone to a "mail to" address when clicked, but some browers have trouble with it.

    That's a fascinating post -- I need to reflect on it for awhile before I respond.

  2. Thank you Devon,
    I believe Kent Keith is also referring to service to others. There are so many organizations that emphasize this action but we need to apply the principles to our whole lives as well.

  3. i can definitely relate, and actually caught myself listing the ways I beat around the bush when asking for help while reading this post! Crafty and clever as it might be, it isn't helpful to me to avoid help from others.


  4. Fireofsorrow, believe me I went through some of the same thing in writing the post. However, it is interesting to see how we feel when being helped in comparison to offering help.

    I want to try and keep that in mind next time someone offers their help to me. Just my arm chair psychology.

  5. I love doing things for other people, as long as they want it. Otherwise I agree with George Bernard Shaw: "Never do unto others as you would have others do unto you. They might have different tastes."

    I know some handicapped people who hate it when people insist on doing things for them that they can, and want to, do themselves. Their suggestion is ask if a person wants some help. Then respect their answer.

    I appreciate it when someone helps me, as long as there are no strings attached. It makes the world a friendlier place. I enjoy helping, so why not let them have that pleasure, too?

  6. Cheerful Monk, I could not have said it better myself. No strings allowed when helping others.

    I appreciate your comments.