Have you helped someone and felt like it has not been appreciated at all? Maybe you gifted somebody with something you’ve saved up for a long time, but the gift wasn’t valued as much as you have hoped for.
Many times we feel frustrated when our gifts are taken for granted. At the same time, when someone takes advantage of us, we feel annoyed.
Let’s look at what usually motivates people to give.
Giving makes us feel better.
We give because we feel sorry for someone.
We give because we are superheroes with superpowers (false)!
We have plenty of resources (so we think).
We like to help, like genuinely.
These reasons are not bad but notice the inherent limitations. Consider these.
Our should-be goal is to make the other person feel better, not that we feel better.
We should aim to empower those we help so they can stand up and fend for themselves-not train them to be beggars.
We’re not superheroes. We can’t be everything to everyone.
Some things do run out. So it matters where we place those limited resources.
Asking someone “How can I help” makes our help more useful and effective.
One classic example of the latter was when I had a chance encounter with a stranger.
Me: “Good morning”!
Guy: “Oh, hi!”
Me: “Do you have a change for 100 bucks”?
Guy: “Sorry, no. But how much change do you need”?
Me: “Just 5 bucks for these copies”.
Guy: “ I got it. I’ll pay for you”.
Me: (stunned) “Wait! Really”?
Guy: “Yeah, don’t worry about it” (He said smiling).
Me: “Thank you!”
At that time I can’t think of any way to pay him back so I just said, “God bless you!” The guy just smiled and walked away.
Driving back to work, I recalled all those occasions in the past when help came along at the perfect time and turned out to be exactly what I needed.
- A brother who advised me to put off an investment until I have enough money for it.
- A spiritual mentor who prayed for me every night for 12 weeks so I could finish a catholic program.
- An ex-boss who found me a head hunter who in turn helped me land a new job.
- A friend showed me options I could consider whenever I decide to come home for good.
When help or gift perfectly fits a need you get to appreciate it more, and when it empowers you, all the better.
Next time ask, “How can I help you best?”. Act on the ASK and equip this person to walk, without a crutch.