Sunday, November 20, 2011

To Help or Not to Help

I overheard an interesting conversation last week - a woman had told her husband to deny a request for help from another on the basis that as he didn't help anyone else, he shouldn't expect favors from others.

Now as the conversation went on there was a hint that the gentleman did help others, but not in the manner of frequency that the woman thought appropriate.

But setting that aside for now.

I thought we helped others because we could (skills, time, money or whatever) and because it made us better people for doing so. Maybe that isn't quite altruism, but surely most folks don't help each other with the expectation of getting something back, or considering that the person who they helped "owes" them in some way.

As much as I am cynical about the human race, please tell me I am wrong on this front. Isn't sharing ourselves in this way something that builds community, and friendships, and all of those other good concepts. And even if the other person is perceived as being selfish, would it be better to role model "better" behavior than reinforce the behavior that they are being judged for?

Yes there is a line in which if you cross it you are being used and I am certainly not advocating that we should give regardless, but that wasn't the circumstances here.

Tell me what you think and lend a hand if you can folks, lend a hand.

Image: "Tools" by spang141

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