The Thorny Question of Help

Sunday June 10, 2018

"I want to help". I heard myself saying this in answer to "What do you want out of life?"

It came at a difficult time in my life, and was a question put to me by the student advisor, who saw lots of distressed students in her week, I imagine. I felt very alone, my family were across the ocean, blah blah, I won't bore you with all the details, but suicidal thoughts were dogging me.

However, since then, rolling through the decades, things have gradually and immeasurably picked up, and I have a family of my own and have found contentment. I worked in the caring services.

Life presents challenges for us all, but the hard knocks of experience serve us well, and I try never to forget, when confronted with other people's pain, that I too am capable of feeling abject misery, and so the wanting to help is still paramount.

The question is: how, and how much?

Perhaps you all have some answers to this. Do I give, give, give? Money, things, time? Do I engage in more voluntary work, or, my preferred option (but is it the right one?) to simply be, and help in a more abstract, though immeasurable way?

Am I deluding myself that in helping along the way, this is helping, or helping enough?

It would be good to know how others answer this question .

A Moodscope member

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