Helping others, even in small ways, can be a life-enhancing experience. Learning to help others begins with a desire to make a positive difference in general. People of modest means often claim that they are unable to help others because they are unable to help themselves. Helping; however, does not necessarily mean providing financial assistance. Listening, advising, directing, supporting, or simply being a friend, are excellent ways to help others.
Over the years I have made more poor financial decisions than I care to remember. One could argue that a person, such as myself, who has been an inept financial manager, has no business offering financial guidance to others. I disagree. In fact, my financial pitfalls have given me great insights on how to assist others in avoiding the same mistakes.
All of us have unique skills, abilities, insights, feelings, etc., that can be extremely valuable resources to others. For example, as a martial arts instructor I have taught countless individuals over the years how to protect themselves, while at the same time, helping them achieve optimum physical conditioning. While I was often compensated for my efforts, I found it equally rewarding to work with those who could not afford the cost of instruction.
Writing for Helium is another avenue I have chosen to help others. While so doing, I am indeed helping myself. Without question, I have also benefited by gaining the insights of my fellow writers. Their words have helped me to grow and develop.
I believe it is essential for human beings to find meaningful ways to reach out to others. In helps to fulfill us - give fiber to our lives. I also believe that helping others will many times pay unexpected dividends to us - even though our goal was to help others for the sake of compassion.
Many years ago, I taught a Judo class in Coral Gables, Florida. Two of my first students were a brother and sister. I worked with these students for several years, and received a great deal of support from their parents. Years later, while teaching Judo at a community college in another city, the young man who had been my student, now a black belt, walked into my class, and became my assistant instructor. Now, 35 years later, that same young man, his father, and I, are business partners in a thriving company - that the student and his father funded. The moral of this story is simple, the help that I provided to that one student became a life changing experience for both of us.
I firmly believe that a desire to help others will ultimately help us. It may not evolve into the funding of a business, but the good feelings you will experience by making a positive difference in the life of another cannot be understated.