|What can I do? And Why Should I??|
|What can I do?
And Why should I do it?
I'm going to answer the second question asked in the title first, because if you aren't convinced you want to help, how you can help is meaningless.
Why should I help other people? They certainly never did anything for me. In fact they treat me pretty badly sometimes. When I needed help I didn't ask, and certainly no one came running to help me! Times are rough, and I am no exception to that, I have troubles of my own. I don't have time or money to help others because things are hard enough for me. Why don't people take care of their own problems? I sure have to. I don't expect or want charity, and I know others don't want it either. And I am so busy, I just can't get around to it!
Why do we help people? This question can have many answers. We help because we care, about individuals or groups, because we know them personally, or because we have heard of their plight and it touches us emotionally. We help people because we have extra and want to share, or we help others despite the fact that we have none. We help because we want the world to be a better place. We help sometimes even though we don't know why.
We help people because it is in the human nature to care about other people and their happiness. Human beings are gregarious animals, herd animals. We congregate, we form families, extended families, bonds of friendship and community. Humans have the ability to love, to be selfless, to understand and feel the problems, joys, and pains of other beings, human and animal. We have the ability to feel love. These are great gifts. These gifts make life worth living, these gifts change existence from merely procreating, eating and defecating into a purposeful, meaningful, joyful, and painful, event. These gifts of love, caring and empathy answer the protests above, "why should I do anything, no one helps me", "why should I help them, they don't help themselves".
We shouldn't help others based on their personal merits or their pleasantness and likability. A gift of help, love or friendship serves the people it is extended to, the extender of the help, and the community as a whole. Help and friendship extended to those less fortunate or in a bind can elevate the entire community. When we all help others, we in return receive help, and we raise the standard of living for everyone in the community. People must help without thought of prior hurts or insults, and without worrying about past issues or expecting future help. Though, if we ALL help each other, then worrying about future help is unnecessary, because it will be there for everyone.
We also cannot withhold help from people we think are worthless, or who do not "help themselves", or whom we find unsavory. These people know pain and suffering, and it is in our nature, and benefits the helper as well as the helped, and the whole community, to alleviate their pain and suffering and help them heal their families and their situation. But they may never do so. Helping shouldn't come with provisions. If they never change, we can't stop our efforts to help, because the existence of pain, suffering and despair hurts everyone, not just the suffering family.
Imagine if EVERY person in your city actively set out to care for those around them and for those less fortunate. Those who desperately need help would receive it. You would also receive help when you needed it. And slowly but surely the entire community would raise its standard of living. There would be fewer crisis situations, fewer needy families. More people would be able to help and contribute. And the overall well-being of the community would benefit. People would be happier. They would know "someone
CARES!", People could begin to lose the feelings of worthlessness and despair, and begin to be able to regain feelings of Pride. This benefits the individual, the family, the community, the world as a whole.
Now I am sure people are wondering "what is she advocating, socialism?? No way!!". No, I am not advocating socialism, or any other system of forced wealth sharing or community property. I am simply advocating a few hours per week by every person alive on earth. Big request? Sure. But something so easy which would cause so much beneficial change deserves big dreams.
So, the final protests left are "I'm too busy!" and "I'm just as penniless and hurting as everyone else, how can I help them!".
Helping someone in need can be incredibly easy, and doesn't have to cost you a dime. It will cost you a bit of love and caring, but if you don't have extra of that to give it's time to join the human race. Other people around you are of deep importance, and their pain affects you whether you know it or not. A few hours a week can cause a difference, to the people you help and to you. The pride and pleasure you will feel from doing something for the needy around you can'' be bought and can change your life.
How can I help???
Copyright 2001, Our Red Earth Organization
Contributed by Tina <AlaskaSnow@ourredearth.org>