“Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won’t you please, please help me” (Help by the Beatles)
The word help has a few different meanings. To serve, offer assistance, asking for support. Sometimes help can be an urgent matter due to the level of distress.
Help, to ask, or not ask for it, can be a hot topic. Help, to give it or not give it, can get people fired up. For one word that involves actions that are powerful, caring, freeing (yes freeing) it can create debacles. Today let’s simplify help. Lets begin with the giving.
There are some people that giving help is a quick, easy. They see someone struggling and offer help. When asked for help they give it. It seems that simple.
For others when they see someone struggling they avoid, ignore, turn away. Someone else’s struggle is not theirs. When asked for help they don’t. This seems that simple.
Actually to give or not give help has some complexities. In Quora about why people don’t help one another one of the point mentioned is the bystander effect.The by standing effect is where the more people there are the less likely anyone will help. We get nervous about other people. Our fear and anxiety stops us from taking action.
Dr. Bobby Hoffman in an article in Psychology Today (10/3/07) talks about “3 Reason Why People Won’t Help Others”. One of the issues he mentions is blaming someone for putting themselves in the position where they need help. Because of this mind set no help is given. It’s like you did this to yourself so take care of it yourself. Our judgments impact our decisions.
Giving back and helping is good for your brain and body. Huffpost reports in “10 Facts to Helping Others is Key to Happiness, March 20, 2015 that when you donate or do an act of kindness for someone the mesolimbic system (the part of the brain responsible for feelings of reward) is triggered. The brain also releases feel good chemicals so you want to do more good. You get a “helpers high”.
My actions and way of living is to help. For me I have learned when I help I feel better as a human. Do I need to help others. Nope. Do I want to help others? YES! Some ways I help include helping family, friends drop off or pick up their car from getting fixed, watching neighbors houses, goldfish, getting mail on vacation, loaning items to others, calling 911 when driving when a see a car on the side of the road with flashers, donating money to charities. For people on the side of the road asking for food and money I have ready made baggies with food and water that I give to them.
Asking for help can be difficult for people as well. There are some individuals in life that struggle with asking for help. There have been times in everyone’s life that we have needed help. EVERYONE. Asking for help can be seen as a weakness, a reflection that you cannot handle things on your own. So NOT true! Asking for help is a sign of strength! Yep strength. In an article by Minda Setlin in Inc. she states “You may be the most generous person in the world, but giving help when you’ve asked for it yourself is completely different from giving it when you never have. And those who receive your help will feel much better about it if they know you’re paying forward something that was done for you”.
Help in asking and help in giving builds connections. It strengthens human bonds, relationships, character. If you are going through a struggle and need help ask. Let people know how they can support you. Sometimes people are unsure of what to do so they do nothing. Help them help you. In the past I was a nope I am all set and don’t need anyone’s help. Guess what? I did need help. Once I learned to ask for help and receive help, life became richer, easier, better. If you see a need or someone struggling take an action. If someone asks for help do what you can to help. Take a helping action. Trust me when I say from experience holding back and doing nothing to help feels horrible. Helping and support someone feels so much better.
Everyone of us has been and will be in a position where we need help. Everyone of us has been and will be in a position where we can help.
Marshall McLuhan said it beautifully “There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew”.
So let’s row, row, row our boat together, Ask for help and a break when we need it. Give help and support to those in need.
Let your help be with you💜
Photo by Annie Spratt on Upsplash