Helping people


#1

So basically this is a general debate on helping strangers, since I am of course partial to helping others if they needed my help…

The Ancient Greeks called this act “Sacred Hospitality” or “Xenios” where people who helped others received the blessing of the gods. Even Jesus said those who helped others like the Good Samaritan were to receive the blessings of Heaven…

But in modern times, what is the general view on helping others? Do you give to a charity or donate clothes to the poor? Give coins to charities at Christmas time or other times? Even help a stray animal who needed help? Is it wise to help total strangers in need of assistance? Let’s debate! :smiley:


#2

I help people because I know what it feels like…I never really saw the “heavenly reward” thing. :thinking: I’ve been known to…uhm…fix? Or persuade I guess, ‘bullies’ and people dislike for me that.
They often mistake my kindness as weakness


#3

Absolutely. Obviously you need to use a little bit of common sense and judge your safety but you should always treat people when possible with kindness and consideration. Whether you are religious or not: do unto others as you would have them do to you is a very solid code to live by.


#4

I generally try to live my life according to Wheaton’s Law:

Don’t be a jerk.
And if you think you’re going to be a jerk, don’t.


#5

I give what I can, when I can. Being a DC-suburb native, I have also participated in marches since I was old enough to ride the metro without my dad freaking out (read: 17+ and always with a friend. DC be dangerous).

That said, being broke as I am, I really can’t do much. I never use gift cards, so whenever I receive them, I give them to panhandlers - especially gift cards for food.

I volunteer when I can - lots of time spent at animal shelters and running daycare rooms for church (I may not be religious, but religious organizations do a lot of good, and I love kids). I’ve tried to join in on environmental volunteering, but I can’t find any a reasonable distance away (my car is a 1982 benz and has started acting up recently. If I’m not careful to put her in neutral when stopped, she will stall every 7 miles, and she likes to stall when parking at work).

I’m also trying to get more active in my community in general, even just for DnD groups or hiking groups.

For a while, I also volunteered my time for a suicide help line.

OH! And I have volunteered in local Christmas parades, giving free soup, cotton candy, popcorn, and hot cocoa every year for the past 4 or 5.

Volunteering is almost a selfish thing for me. It helps me feel like my life has value, while also giving back to the world. I genuinely want to make the world a better place, but in the immortal words of Friends - there are no truly selfless acts.

As for your questions, I think it is always good to help those in need. I hesitate to give people straight up cash, because I have been personal friends with homeless people before, and while it’s not the rule, it is a commonality that a lot of people are homeless due to drug abuse or alcoholism. I don’t want to contribute to making their lives worse. I want to make them better. So, food cards are a big thing I give. I have also made care packages for DFAB homeless people - feminine hygiene products and the like.

I have pictures of a bird I helped one year. He was injured and near-frozen. I had never had a wild bird let me come so close and even touch it, before. I helped get it to a vet.

(I’m genuinely trying to answer all questions you posed)

I don’t believe in an afterlife, necessarily, so I don’t really believe in a Heavenly reward. I just do things, because doing the wrong thing makes me feel like crap. When I ignore people and animals in need, I have a horrid pit in my stomach for hours, even days, later.


#6

I help folks regularly. I came from…my family struggled growing up A LOT. I think in this day and age you just need to be safe about it. Research where you donate. Help folks you know, etc. We all need help in some way. I cant afford to Patreon all of the stellar wips i love, but i can give feedback and talk to those who ask questions. I always give spare cash I have to women on the streets…not trying to be sexist, but I have been in situations that I would believe to be even harder/more horrific to women without homes. Even just being the person who listens to someone who needs it…in person, online - whatever! I have had more good experiences than bad (though, again…watch for creepers) you can help in so many ways! :heart:


#7

Absolutely. If it’s safe to do so I think it’s a great idea. Costs you nothing but a little time, and next time it might be you hoping a stranger will stop and help you out.


#8

I have more of a mercenary view point in life.


#9

Helping others, is a very natural things in humans. It is part of what we are, and how we got where we are now. It is the evolutionary thing which helped our ancestors stand a chance against predators. Humans where rarely faster or stronger than their prey or other animals who could do us harm, it was the sense of community which helped.

It is also an empathy thing, at least in my opinion. The ability to feel what a struggling person is probably feeleing and therefore wanting to help. Today it is not that easy, I tend to help people, but if I come to realize that they only ask for help to not do it themselves, then I stop helping.

Last week we found a little stray cat in our house, it was only a few months old and the neighbours and myself had some interesting talk about what we should do with the kitty, since my neighbours and my family both have dogs. In the end my daughter and my bf remembered a leaflet on a tree looking for such a cat. So we were able to reunite the kitty with her more than happy owner. It was a really sweet thing and made me happy^^


#10

I generally feel an almost overpowering pull to help others, and it’s something that gives me a lot of satisfaction and joy.

But, being an insecure ball of anxieties and self-worth issues, I am often held back by the feeling that I would be overstepping or be a nuisance to the person in question.

And, my mental health being as bad as it is, I really need to keep check on myself, cause I would happily spend ridiculous amounts of time and energy for the sake of others, without thought to what the consequences would be for myself.

Then, of course, when I do hold myself back for one reason or the other, I still feel the overwhelming need to help, plus I feel like I’m a selfish a**hole, on top of that.
Oh joy. :upside_down_face:

But, yeah, don’t hesitate to ask me for help, just know that I’m rather candid, and it might take some time for me to respond.


#11

I generally believe in basic human morality (that humans have a moral compass) and that goodness prevails. I do think it’s in human nature to be kind as well.


#12

I live in the flipping middle of nowhere, so mostly the only people I can help are the sheep in the next field.

But when I actually come into contact with other extraterrestrial life, I like to always make them feel good when I have a conversation. Little things like agreeing to their point of view and getting them to talk about themselves makes me feel good as well as them. :man_shrugging:t2:


#13

“If you seek to aid everyone that suffers in the galaxy, you will only weaken yourself… and weaken them. It is the internal struggles, when fought and won on their own, that yield the strongest rewards.”


#14

Last time I majorly helped a charity was me selling stuff specifically for it. I really don’t have money to give to people and ad when I do it’s for spare change or with the promise of being paid back. Helping frequently feels like an obligation to me instead of me wanting to help, so it’s a major source of unhappiness for me. So I tend to get annoyed when someone expects me to help with no prior deal, it also leads me when I have others help to check regularly to make sure nothing came up. Though I also offer help when it doesn’t really inconvenience me or if I like the person, so helping people really depends on my mood at the moment.

On kindness, I mostly dislike people who insist they’re nice despite whatever they do or how they act or justify themselves with being better than another type of person. I don’t really mind someone who talks or acts (if they aren’t expecting you to do something as above ) without your feelings in mind because I understand how it is to have no idea how another person does feel. It’s why my friends are easy going people, if I can’t joke about a pet dying then I need to rethink our relationship.


#15

I have helped red cross in attendance of immigrant women victims of prostitution in the college. It was very interesting could helping others to exit a pure torture life. I have also volunteer in a pet clinic owned by a friend of my father in high school.

However i will never return to helping officially due a rampant corruption that boiling in anger. I have seen the boss off volunteers picking donate clothing and food to their homes being rich as fuck. I have seen those people saying no gays are allowed in the group. Caritas is one Spanish more used volunteers group is from Church… And I am from The town were Franco born and is filled everywhere with religious fanatics. So I ended really burnt to trust in those groups when I have seen stolen stuff from donations. They even offered me bring stuff home!!! So what I do now Is helping officiously in the union my dad is to unemployed people fill papers or recollect food that we personally gave to the food shelterss


#16

uh, for me i just help people/be nice cause i feel like it. i want my default response to be nice and when the other person is awful just then i will reflect it back to them.
i try to donate small amount of my wage every month because now i got more than i needed to get by, and also…religious reason. i was raised in a religious environment so…its probably has been rooted deep in my brain that for every wealth that i have, a small part of it is a poor man’s right so i have to give it away. i dont mind tho since…ive been in that condition too.
i try to help stray cats and kittens around my area but…too many died because they’re too young (sadly TNR isnt that common in my country)
because i live in a capital city, i was wary of strangers, i rarely give change to beggars and had learned how to cut off strangers trying talk to me


#17

I volunteer and donate clothes. I help because I see it as a way of making life a little bit easier for someone. The world can be a cruel place. As many go to sleep with ease and in comfort, others go to sleep jobless, in hunger, and in depression. I always try to remember that because I hate that feeling myself.

But I do have a strong aversion to helping strangers directly based on my experience. I used to ride public transportation often and see many of the same faces. One of these faces was that of a homeless man, I gave him money. Turns out, he uses the money to buy drugs. I’ve even seen him shoot up myself while waiting for the bus. Another time, I was riding with someone and they offered a guy with a help sign a sandwich since we had ordered catering. The guy slapped the sandwich down to the ground and said “I don’t need that [expletive].”

After the woman was stabbed to death in my hometown by a crook pretending to be a panhandler, I am extremely cautious. The worse part is, that is unlikely to happen. But who wants to take that risk? There are many people who need help but will never get it unfortunately because of a few bad apples. Hopefully, those who need help get but I know that is not reality.


#18

I was raised as an open-minded Christian, so I try to be supportive of others regardless of what they’ve been through… Plus it’s the thought that counts!


#19

Sometimes I help strangers with simple things, and for some reason it’s always toddlers or children I help out. I help them reach things they can’t reach and I’ve also helped them find things they’ve lost or can’t find. I’ve helped a boy I used to take viet classes with find his shoes (he was a few years younger than me but the classes don’t divine students by age). I think it comes as an insinct? I’m the eldest sister of three younger siblings. And I feel really good after I’ve done it too, it’s almost rewarding in a way. But then there have been snarky toddlers and children that don’t appreciate it because they want to do things on their own. And I do admit that it gets so annoying and I just wanna yell but my sister instincts tell me to protecc not attacc. And everyone who has siblings know that they can get on your nerves too.


#20

Generally I don’t really give much thought to helping strangers and just do it unless they act very strangely