Helping others is one of the, if not the sole, reasons for our existence and our gifts. I believe that whatever blessings a person enjoys are meant to be shared with others, especially those who are in need of them. We need to remember, though, that the best way to help is not by spoon-feeding but by helping them learn how to acquire or achieve their goals.
Based on my life experiences, I discovered the best ways to help people. Having experienced being one who needed help, and being the one who extended it, I have realized the following to be very helpful:
- When someone cannot perform a task correctly, do it with them. Doing the task on their behalf might solve their current predicament but they would not be able to learn to do it in the future. It would not be possible for you to do it for them all the time, right?
- When someone is in a slump, remind them of their goal. Commenting negatively on their actions, inactions, decisions or indecisions would not lead them to do what is right. Instead of nagging, why don’t you serve as a reminder and an encouragement for them to remember their purposes and aspirations in life?
- Provide materials they can use as guidance. Since you cannot be available to directly help or guide them all the time, it is good to provide them with directions that they could use as a basis until such time that they become confident in doing things on their own.
- Let them learn from their mistakes. Allowing them to experience the effects of the mistakes they committed is one of the best ways to teach someone a lesson. Experience is the best teacher. Once they know how it feels to make a mistake, it would motivate them to do better and be better.
- Be a great example or model. Sometimes, people do not take kindly to being advised or guided by someone who does not practice what they preach. More often than not, people tend to emulate what they see. Therefore, it is important to be a good role model if you want to help others learn.
While there is nothing wrong with helping someone by offering what they need on a silver platter, ready to be consumed, the lasting effects of helping them learn how to get what they need definitely is the better option to take.
What do you think are other ways to help others?
(Photo by olia danilevich)