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The weight of the world: helping others...

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posted on Aug, 26 2011 @ 01:35 PM
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Honestly, I had a major rant coming up before I wrote this thread, but at the last min decided “to make lemonade” and turn the topic into a philosophical thread to discuss.

I see a lot of people at my workplace every day and while listening to them, it's obvious that more and more of them are becoming in need of help. I see it at work, read about it on the Internet... and not just in Europe or the US, it's everywhere and all around the world: what used to be the average middle class person is now becoming a person in need.

Personally I feel a lot of empathy for those people and I wonder how many others feel the same?

Whenever I hear a sad story I immediately want to help out.
Yesterday I donated cloths to a girl I've known for a while, I didn't knew she only had two pair of cloths to wear and had to struggle to even feed and cloth her two small children. So I did the first thing that came to my mind and gave her anything I could miss....

A while back I heard that a certain member of ATS lost everything 'overnight', including the roof over his head (like so many have this last year...sadly). I was about to open my online banking and send him money to get by for a while.... my husband stopped me from doing so, we had a fight and he said that whatever I wanted to do was fine, but NOT giving away money because for all we know it would be wasted, while we are the ones that had to work hard for it... (and it's true that I lost a lot of money in the past when so called 'friends' where in need and never payed me back)

It's been that way with different people for the last couple of years.
Of course I acknowledge that one of the reasons I do that is because it makes me feel better as well and it makes me sleep a bit better at night.
It may even give me a better feeling then it does the person who is only accepting help because he/she doesn't have another choice.... which is a sad thing to realize because that isn't the intention of 'helping”

So a therapist told me once to stop trying to help all the time, he said
“people don't WANT your help, they just want your sympathy and to share their problems with someone who will listen”
How much truth is in the above?

In my vision,
a world where people care for each other a little bit more and help each other where and how they can... It would still not be perfect, but it would be a hell of an improvement!
So why are so many people only minding their own lives and care only about themselves?

If I could stop caring, stop helping and only look out for myself, my life would be so much easier and a lot of weight would fall from my shoulders... in fact, it's not right that a few should carry the weight of many, but that's not something that can be changed UNLESS, more start helping to carry all that weight around.


So I'm wondering,

-How much do you do for those around you that are in need of help of some kind?

-Do you find it difficult to sleep when you know about someone who is having a rough time while you are warm and cozy in your bed?
And,
-How much is enough, where do you draw the line?




posted on Aug, 26 2011 @ 01:52 PM
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Where does one draw the line?..Good question...and one I don't have the answer to.

I would like to say that it is a very good thing that you have compassion , and hopefully that comes back to you when you need it as well.

There are many who scam with made up stories..and many who suffer silently in need because they are afraid to ask for help.

The simple fact that you are willing to help is a great thing, but be wise in how you do so...is about the best advice I can give.



posted on Aug, 26 2011 @ 02:03 PM
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Originally posted by GypsK

So a therapist told me once to stop trying to help all the time, he said
“people don't WANT your help, they just want your sympathy and to share their problems with someone who will listen”
How much truth is in the above?



Your Therapist amuses me, did you go to him for help or sympathy?

If you feel the need to help by giving, try giving small but often, but always remember if you are not in a position to help yourself how can you help others.



posted on Aug, 26 2011 @ 02:28 PM
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Originally posted by Jamjar
Your Therapist amuses me, did you go to him for help or sympathy?

If you feel the need to help by giving, try giving small but often, but always remember if you are not in a position to help yourself how can you help others.



hehe never thought of that therapist in that way:p
I only met the guy once... but some people have claimed he was right with that phrase.

Of course, if your not capable of helping without doing yourself short, then don't... but sometimes a little means much to someone in need... mostly everyone must have 'something' to give



posted on Aug, 26 2011 @ 02:35 PM
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Im currently trying to make the world a better place as we speak. Im trying to get ahold of the right people to get the ball rolling.

To see what Im talking about, take a look at the thread in my signature.

Oh yeah, great thread. S&F for you

edit on 26-8-2011 by Talltexxxan because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 26 2011 @ 03:53 PM
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If you are having trouble sleeping at night because of the problems in the world you have a problem worth addressing. Charity begins at home. Be good to yourself, otherwise you face burnout and possibly even becoming jaded when you can't do anymore. And then you will be suffering and unable to help at all.

That doesn't mean I don't support the idea of helping others as much as we can, but we have to be honest about how much we can reasonably do. And your therapist is right: People don't always want help. Sometimes a sympathetic ear is all they really need and the best thing you can offer. Your help is often only a band-aid anyway, and you can't likely resolve their core issue which can stem from much larger problems like unemployment.

Consider volunteering in order to stretch your contribution to a larger number of people and remember you can't fix the world's problems, you can only truly resolve your own.

This is coming from someone who has given his last dollar before to help someone else. Never saw a more grateful human being, but it isn't something I would do all the time. Only when I can afford to.

Namaste,
Traveler in the Dark



posted on Aug, 26 2011 @ 08:12 PM
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I have a formula that has served me well when I don't know where to draw the line,

1) think about the obligation that you have already made to the ones depending on you. Ask yourself if your family will go without so that someone else doesn't have to. Ask what you will have to sacrifice to lend a helping hand. When you have made promises to others, those promises take priority over all else that may require your attention. You have to solve your own problems before you can solve someone else's. If you neglect your own obligations you multiply the negativity in the world instead of reducing it.

2) know who you are dealing with. If you know who you are giving to, the chances of you being taken advantage of are greatly reduced. Remember, if a stranger ask you for alms, he shows a lack of pride and dignity and will probably never pull himself out of his rut. Do not enable the shameless, it will only keep the cycle of irresponsibility going and he will never grow to be more than what he is at that time.

3) beware of those who ask without hesitation, they are usually the ones who ask for help first and try to do it on their own when all else fails. Do enable this person, they will never become self sufficient while they have an enabler.

4) When in doubt, pray about it. If you are not at peace with it, something is probably wrong.

5) Never lend more than you can give. 80% of the time a loan ends up being a gift.

As an objectivist, I believe that we should be neighborly and help build others up in order to have a better world for ourselves and the ones we love. But do not add to the problem by enabling those who have no interest in overcoming their difficulties. When you enable these deadbeats, you become as much of the problem as they are because you kept the cycle going.

It isn't a foolproof method, but it helps to make rational decisions as opposed to those which are based upon emotions which can be easily manipulated.
edit on 26-8-2011 by TheThirdAdam because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 26 2011 @ 11:22 PM
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reply to post by GypsK
 


Why do you need a therapist? Someone else to tell you how you should feel? Well, that just feels wrong to me! However, if you need someone to tell secrets to and you fears...you should talk to a stranger. That is not correct either and it is no fault of your own, but the way that our egotisical society has led us to believe. Why should you talk about these things with the people that you are close to....lest they think of you less than you are....

Suggestions:

Move away from caring about what people think....
Try to be more heart centered..as in your own heart for you...not for someone else.
Live like you only have one month left to live!



posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 11:43 AM
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reply to post by GypsK
 


An intelligent organism would always move toward pleasure and away from pain. But we have been brainwahed into thinking that this is selfish and like sheep we bleet it at people for caring for themselves first.
You very intelligently said:
If I could stop caring, stop helping and only look out for myself, my life would be so much easier and a lot of weight would fall from my shoulders...
You then went on to say this;
in fact, it's not right that a few should carry the weight of many, but that's not something that can be changed UNLESS, more start helping to carry all that weight around.

Expecting others to help you carry baggage that does not belong to you will not solve the problem. It is not your bag. Do not save the world before yourself, it is not possible. You therapist was right. I remember my therapist saying to me 'would you rather hurt than someone else?', i said i would. I know that is not right now. I care for me because no one else knows me like i do. I am fulfilled and i have plenty to share now. I learned what unconditional love was by loving myself unconditionally.



posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 12:05 PM
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Between the lines it sounds that everyone is in agreement that I'm the one who is wrong or unrealistinc when trying to help people that are in need of help.
Seriously,
That's exactly what is wrong with this world!

So when your neighbor is starving and you have just enough to have a good full stomach, you would rather eat all your own food, looking after yourself first, in stead of sharing a bit of it with a person in need? wow...

if that is how the majority feels then I understand why I never got help from anyone back in the time when I needed it....

Just a little help could be the one little thing someone needs to make a change.... you have no idea how much your actions can influence the direction of another life!

oh btw, the reason I saw that psychiatrist once is because I felt guilty for having what I have while others in my family have nothing at all.....
I don't feel guilty anymore, but I can't be fully happy knowing that others don't have food to put on the table, sry but that's just the way I am, it's not a psychological malfunction to feel this way!


edit on 27/8/2011 by GypsK because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 12:22 PM
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reply to post by GypsK
 


Choosing to suffer is not intelligent. If one saw someone hurting and it hurts then it is intelligent to make the pain stop by reaching out, this may make you feel better, but you can not be sure if you stopped their suffering. However to state that you refuse to be happy because someone somewhere is starving or suffering is not beneficial to anyone.
edit on 27-8-2011 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 12:40 PM
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reply to post by GypsK
 


It is good to be a generous person.

You do have to be careful where you focus your effort.

It's like growing a garden. You want to plant seeds where they have a chance to grow.

Many people are in their situation because of either good or bad choices. If a person constantly makes bad choices they can't be helped. They have to help themselves.

Some people with a little bit of help can flourish.

I will say that your husband is right.

If you are going to give someone money you better have a deep knowledge of their actual financial situation.

You are a tender hearted person.

Just be careful.



posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 12:50 PM
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reply to post by GypsK
 


Would you mind sharing how you got from that point in your life to where you are now? Im just curious.

Im not saying that you shouldn't help others, just be careful that you aren't being taken advantage of. I have seen the way some of these deadbeats take advantage of people like you, its almost predatory the way that they manipulate.



posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 12:53 PM
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Originally posted by dusty1
reply to post by GypsK
 


It is good to be a generous person.

You do have to be careful where you focus your effort.

It's like growing a garden. You want to plant seeds where they have a chance to grow.

Many people are in their situation because of either good or bad choices. If a person constantly makes bad choices they can't be helped. They have to help themselves.

Some people with a little bit of help can flourish.


That's the best way that I have ever heard that explained



posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 01:07 PM
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reply to post by GypsK
 


To pity is to suffer along with sufferer; to forgo your vitality and happiness and essentially multiply suffering. Which to me sounds like nihilistic practice. People believe they will be blessed in their mercy; but not until they have told others and achieved the acceptance of others (thus their vanity) will they feel blessed. I hope that most people don't need to proclaim their good deeds to others for pure vanity; but then again the person who pities should get something out of the transaction.

Also pity has been shown to bring about depression and self-pity on the pitied party. This cannot be a good thing for mankind.

If your friend is suffering, the best thing you can do is to offer a resting place for that suffering, not to take their suffering upon yourself and multiply that suffering. In this you will show compassion and love rather than pity.

We should promote self-knowledge and self-mastery. if everyone focused on bettering themselves put intelligent values on things, the world would be different. We cannot micromanage suffering and we cannot be crutches our whole lives. We should go after what causes suffering.

(pure opinion)


edit on 27-8-2011 by NiNjABackflip because: to add more



posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 02:11 PM
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Originally posted by TheThirdAdam
reply to post by GypsK
 


Would you mind sharing how you got from that point in your life to where you are now? Im just curious.

Im not saying that you shouldn't help others, just be careful that you aren't being taken advantage of. I have seen the way some of these deadbeats take advantage of people like you, its almost predatory the way that they manipulate.


I come from a line of manipulating, scaming for money Gypsies... believe me, I know what a human predator looks and sounds like
. In this thread I really mean normal, honest people who by bad circomstances are having a rough time. Most aren't even asking for anything...

How did I come to this point? If I would tell you the story of my entire life you would probably think that I am suffering from unresolved issues which lead me to think this way, lol... In rough notes:
I grew up having nothing, had louzy jobs, and a lot of debt... almost no food on the table at the end of the month, etc, you know the drill.
Then at one point we where going to loose everything we own to debt-collectors so we desided to beat them to it and sold just about everything we owned except for our cloths.
By using logic and comon sense we came through it (me and my husband). No help from anyone, just beying smart with money and take small but logic steps and little risk... and a lot of hard work.
Now we have the bussiness, a house, two cars and money in the bank. Which are all 'moderate and modest', but a lot, compared to what others have and don't have. We both are content with it, a job for life, a place to live for life and something saved...it's enough...

It didn't take special skills or rare knowledge to get here, just patience and effort.

Which is what leads me to think that, if I could do it, then anyone can do it! I've tried to explain this to may people but most just won't hear it or accept it and those who hear it often just needs a little push in the back.

_____________________

I do get what you and others are saying in this thread and I'm thinking all of it trough. It's not healthy to worry about others all the time, I know that.
But still I stay with my point that it's not good to do 'nothing' either...

when people see a lost puppy or kitten on the street they will pick it up, bring it inside and give it food and shelter.... most won't do that when they see a 'lost human beying' on the street. Something is very wrong with that picture.



posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 02:25 PM
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Originally posted by blazenresearcher
reply to post by GypsK
 


Why do you need a therapist? Someone else to tell you how you should feel? Well, that just feels wrong to me! However, if you need someone to tell secrets to and you fears...you should talk to a stranger. That is not correct either and it is no fault of your own, but the way that our egotisical society has led us to believe. Why should you talk about these things with the people that you are close to....lest they think of you less than you are....

Suggestions:

Move away from caring about what people think....
Try to be more heart centered..as in your own heart for you...not for someone else.
Live like you only have one month left to live!


Well, first of all, one may need a therapist to help sort out 'why' you are feeling the way you do, not 'how' you feel. When you take the step to talk to someone you already know how you feel... you feel bad, otherwise you wouldn't feel the need to talk about it.
Why not to the people who are closest to you? Because it's easier to talk to a stranger who chose to listen and because you don't want to trouble your loved ones with your problems. It's not that they think less of you.
There is nothing selfish in talking to a stranger.

Personally I don't care how others think of me. I used to, but that may be due to the fact that I walked around with blue hear and a nose ring in the early ninetees and didn't understand why everyone looked at me funny


"Try to be more heart centered..as in your own heart for you...not for someone else."
I do a lot of things from the heart... from our heart comes love, which is the only thing that comes for free nowdays... it would be a waste to keep that all for yourself

"Live like you only have one month left to live!"
yup, that's good advice... just look to it that you don't "spend" as if you have one month left to live either, lol... that's the root to a lot of problems ppl are having



posted on Aug, 27 2011 @ 08:25 PM
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Originally posted by GypsK

How did I come to this point? If I would tell you the story of my entire life you would probably think that I am suffering from unresolved issues which lead me to think this way, lol... In rough notes:
I grew up having nothing, had louzy jobs, and a lot of debt... almost no food on the table at the end of the month, etc, you know the drill.
Then at one point we where going to loose everything we own to debt-collectors so we desided to beat them to it and sold just about everything we owned except for our cloths.
By using logic and comon sense we came through it (me and my husband). No help from anyone, just beying smart with money and take small but logic steps and little risk... and a lot of hard work.
Now we have the bussiness, a house, two cars and money in the bank. Which are all 'moderate and modest', but a lot, compared to what others have and don't have. We both are content with it, a job for life, a place to live for life and something saved...it's enough...

It didn't take special skills or rare knowledge to get here, just patience and effort.

Which is what leads me to think that, if I could do it, then anyone can do it! I've tried to explain this to may people but most just won't hear it or accept it and those who hear it often just needs a little push in the back.


This is why I believe in objectivism, because when you take control of your life and live responsibly you will find that anyone can make it on their own. That story is something that you should be extremely proud of. I have a very similar background myself and I know exactly where you are coming from.

That being said, you are probably a lot like me when it comes to karma. You understand what it's like to be at the bottom and have nobody to pull you up. Everytime I see someone in that situation I have an overwhelming urge to try to rescue them as I'm sure you do as well. Consequently, I have been burned by those that I am sure had the best of intentions in the begining but somehow got derailed from their goals.

This is what I'm talking about when I say don't be an enabler. If you think back to when you were in that rut, you will remember what made you decide to change was the fact that you knew that if you didn't do something differently and change your mentality then you were not going to survive. If people would have kept bailing you out then you would have never had an impending reason to do something about the problem.

Now here is the disclaimer. Bad things happen to good people, even the most responsible people can end up in a tight spot and need a hand. These are the ones who need our help the most because it is they that make things like jobs and charity possible. I'm not talking about the elitist, I'm talking about people like you that hire locally and help those in your community. You know who will make the most of the help that you give and who will just take it and be in the same situation the next week, use your judgement. Look at it this way, the ones that you knew wouldn't take your help and get better are best helped by doing nothing but telling them your story. you can sleep better at night knowing that you helped them in the long run by "giving the extra push" as you called it.



I do get what you and others are saying in this thread and I'm thinking all of it trough. It's not healthy to worry about others all the time, I know that.
But still I stay with my point that it's not good to do 'nothing' either...


Talking to someone and being supportive of them while they work through their problems isn't doing nothing, even if it isn't the kind of help that they want, sometimes it's just what they need. In situations like this, what someone really needs to grow is not what they want, but if you give them what they want it only prolongs the problem that needs to be worked out (most of the time).

This was what I was trying to elude to in my last thread but failed miseribly.

Was Jesus an objectivist?


edit on 27-8-2011 by TheThirdAdam because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 02:47 AM
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Originally posted by TheThirdAdam

You understand what it's like to be at the bottom and have nobody to pull you up. Everytime I see someone in that situation I have an overwhelming urge to try to rescue them as I'm sure you do as well. Consequently, I have been burned by those that I am sure had the best of intentions in the begining but somehow got derailed from their goals.


"the urge to rescue them", I couldn't have said it better, that is exactly how I feel. And yes, I have been burned by some I tried to help



This is what I'm talking about when I say don't be an enabler.
If people would have kept bailing you out then you would have never had an impending reason to do something about the problem.

yeah maybe... my mother in law has money and I mean Money!
When my husband went to her for help back then, she said "no way i'm giving you anything, if you want money from me you'll just have to wait untill I'm death! And untill that happens you work hard and figure things out yourself"
I now do realize where she was coming from but it did scatter the relationship between my husband and his mother.




Talking to someone and being supportive of them while they work through their problems isn't doing nothing, even if it isn't the kind of help that they want, sometimes it's just what they need. In situations like this, what someone really needs to grow is not what they want, but if you give them what they want it only prolongs the problem that needs to be worked out (most of the time).


That is the line of thinking I used to follow, before I started seeing people in need as my 'personal projects' so to speak.
On the other hand, it's not like I go to people and offer them my help, people always seem to find me.
Last year one showed up on my doorstep with her son and a bit of clothing: " I don't have anywhere to go".... So I took them in, it ended horrible.
Now there is this other girl who suddenly started spilling the beans on her relationship, her money issues and all the rest of her problems. She said "I'm stuck in this situation and I can't get loose"

These people come to me when their situation has reach a critical point (which they could make into a turning-point in their lives when they make the effort) asking for help or guidance. And then I can't turn away and pretend everything is fine.

I'm not a religious person, I am a spiritual person... sometimes I wonder what is making them cross my path every time again.
Maybe it's supposed to be my lessons and not theirs..heh

thanks for the reply, it made a lot of sense



posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 06:00 AM
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Originally posted by GypsK
If I could stop caring, stop helping and only look out for myself, my life would be so much easier and a lot of weight would fall from my shoulders... in fact, it's not right that a few should carry the weight of many, but that's not something that can be changed UNLESS, more start helping to carry all that weight around.


You do realize that weight is only imagined and whatever you perceived as weight of others is still there in their own mind, in a way you double the weight of problems in the world. Often it may be enough to look another in the eye and know that is just human like yourself and acknowledge they have spirit for enduring their problems.

Another thing is you should ask yourself what you get out of carrying the weight of many. Probably your own way of convincing yourself you are a caring person, which other people pick up on and treat you accordingly.




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