“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”
— Dalai Lama
There are a few times when it is probably better to not help out.
- If you’re willing to help pick someone up, letting them fall can be a great teacher. Children need to fall down from time to time when they are learning to walk.
- If the person you’re helping repeatedly takes, but doesn’t give anything in return. It’s probably best just to ease out of that relationship as best you can. (Be careful not to get into a tit-for-tat giving though. There is no score card.).
- If an offer of help is refused, accept the answer with grace.
- If help becomes enablement such as with drugs, alcohol or gambling. But don’t assume that just because someone is homeless, that they are a drug addict or alcoholic.
- If your help would clearly threaten your life unnecessarily.
- And finally, if you’re a lousy ice skater and someone falls, it’s probably best to just let someone else help them up.
(Ok, #6 was tongue-and-cheek after a few near misses on the ice rink today. )
<Request> Please, please, please say ‘no’ to helping someone only after careful thought. Too often ‘no’ becomes the easy answer rather than the best answer. (Example – Do you really know if that pan handler on the on-ramp really needs help or not? I don’t.) Saying ‘Yes’ is powerful. Thanks.</Request>
Took the kids ice skating. This kind of giving may require Advil.