Day 18: Do As I Do


Most all of my problems are first world problems. It is unfair of me to complain about things which are merely a detriment to my lifestyle based on my ability to provide a higher than average way of life. Except for one.

By now, you have picked up on the ideals which govern day-to-day life. The largest one is my genuine desire to help. Many people would welcome someone who had an altruistic desire to help them. Or it could be easily assumed. In fact, my problem is that is a typical assumption.

Gift Horse

The few teeth I have left are checked more often than many would find reasonable. This is not a result of my delivery of subpar experiences, gifts with more strings than a parachute or my word being balloon filler. It derives from a different innate source.

Pity, Sympathy vs. Empathy

No one wants to receive pity. Only the most emotionally immature or those lacking in humane fiber resort to pity.

Nearly everyone is capable of sympathy. They can look into the bad times of others, say and mean, “I wish you were not going through __________.” Those who are more emotionally mature can say, “I wish you were not going through ____________, too.” Empathetic people have walked a mile in those shoes.


dimeWhat do those three people do when they are on the other side of the fence? How well do they receive the help of others? Would you be surprised if it did not break down into the same categories?

In fact, they do not. Regardless of the emotional maturity which governs our charitable feelings toward others, how we accept help is governed by a different maturity.

Not Like Me

unequalMany people will tell you those who accuse are really showing what their true colors are. They are capable of conceiving deception in others because they have the ability (and usually the propensity) to commit the crime being accused.

To some degree, this is true. We generally tag these people with pejorative terms: paranoid, suspicious, users.

To a large degree, this is false. The majority of people who fish eye do so under the principle of Once bitten, twice shy. It is not they would do something nefarious under the circumstances; instead, they have met and fallen prey to one who would.

This group has come to be convinced everyone who extends a helping hand is looking to put a shackle of indentured servitude on their wrists until an inordinate amount of (money, gratitude, guilt) has been proffered.

Walking Wounded

Another group of would-be-help-receivers is entrenched believing getting help is a character flaw. When help is offered, the helper is merely saying, You are incompetent. This group will often throw themselves before a train before taking help which would make their paths easier to navigate when it would not completely clear the paths.

They believe everyone is showing pity. Everyone.

Not Me

Red TABMy problem is I am the would-be-helper who is fish eyed. I offer to help, regularly. My help is more often dismissed on the grounds *I* am too busy to help. Were that true, I would not have offered.

Despite more than 15 posts decrying my abhorrence of stupidity, my offer of help is never a vote of no confidence. To be completely frank, if I felt you were incompetent, I would not have offered. You would not gain anything from my help except a free pass to continue being incompetent.

Regardless of your understanding of the words coming out of my mouth or fingers, I do not condescend. I am far too forthright for that. If I think you making a stupid choice, I will say, You are making a stupid choice. Let’s fix it. If you truly are stupid, I am not offering to help. (See last paragraph about competence.)

Even when I see the train coming, I will help you get off the tracks. If you are stuck, I will derail the train. After all, even very intelligent people make stupid choices. I have made more than my fair share of them.

Human Foible

As a race, we have been conditioned to believe no one does anything for nothing; there are no free rides; and you get what you pay for. While they all have their place, in terms of helping others, they are misapplied.

Altruistic people help others merely to be kind and compassionate or to better the world for someone besides themselves. Just because you cannot discern a traditional measure of recompense for offered help does not mean it is not genuinely in your best interest.

Often, I offer help which gives me nothing in return than the satisfaction of knowing someone else may now have the resources to help someone else, be they monetary, emotional or physical resources. Just because you cannot put a physical or monetary gauge to what I gain does not mean I am not a beneficiary myself.

What I share most often is the lifetime of knowledge I have amassed which helps people avoid some of the pitfalls life has to offer. I am egocentric enough to admit, saving someone heartache is my version of saving the world one person at a time. I wish I could do it more often.

See? It really is a first world problem.

Do you look the gift horse in the mouth? Why is it so difficult to accept kindness from others? Do you practice RAOK?

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  1. I think we have had this conversation more than once over many long months. Trust is a terrible thing to waste!
    Valentine Logar recently posted..Everything is not YouMy Profile

  2. I love this post Red. I remember back several months ago when I toyed with re-editing A Mother’s Love and you offered to help. I said that I couldn’t ask you to do that with all of the things you have on your plate already. Ouch. Next time you offer to help, I will take you up on it. 🙂
    Wendy Reid recently posted..FTP Challenge: Tablecloth – 100 wordsMy Profile

  3. Ain’t it the TRUTH!!! 🙁

    I help people often only to be betrayed, used, cheated, then accused of horrific crimes so they don’t have to pay me back!

    Either that or I get sold out for whatever is on offer… 🙁

    Will I stop helping people?

    Hell NO!!!

    Not everyone is a sponger/liar/pity merchant/thief… 🙂

    Love and hugs!

    Prenin recently posted..Saturday – Eurovision Final.My Profile

  4. this is an excellent post Red, I have really enjoyed my visit today, but of course I still need to call in again and try catching up with you 🙂 Well if that is possible with such an avid writer as yourself?

    I can see that you have been very busy in more ways than one but then that is your gift, always there and ready to help others whilst also taking very good care of your children, which is truly wonderful my great friend.

    Mind you, after saying that you should be taking some time out for yourself too, yes some ‘ME’ time for a change and this time make damn sure that you rest okay? 😉 🙂

    How do you mean BOSSY? 🙂 lmao

    Andro xxxx

    • LOL! I have been taking some time for me. Not that I had much in the way of choice in the matter. I am in for a spot before I jet away for the weekend. Are you going to behave whilst I am gone? Hmm?

      • I am late to reply to this one but hey you know me, I am always good 🙂 😉 lmao I am pleased that you took some time out for yourself Red, you work too hard for sure and even play hard, now why am I not surprised at that thought? 🙂

        By the way, I know you have long hair but I never realised just how long it actually is, I do have a thing about long hair and the female form 🙂 Hey I am not being creepy or anything, I am just thinking (like Binky) out of the box 🙂

        Have a delightful rest of evening Red 🙂

        Andro xxxx

        • LOL! Of course I play hard. It is compensation for all the work I do.

          Yes, my hair grows very quickly. When I started the blog in late 2011, it was not quite touching my shoulders. Now, it is at my elbow, unless I straighten it. Then, it is far past my elbow. I believe you share that thing with quite a few others. 😉

  5. Funny thing, when I think about this. I have no qualms at all about helping someone; there are no ulterior motives. However, I admit when offers of help come my way, I am uncomfortable. Why? Might it be the I value the time and energy the helper might be spending instead of using them for him or herself? I’m also used to doing everything for myself, so it’s a life-long habit.

    On the other hand, I appreciate the extension of a helping hand when I know or trust the person, and know they indeed wish to be of help.

    I’m a MESS!
    Tess Kann recently posted..Sunday Snippets Blog HopMy Profile


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