Today, a conversation about helping others. Not the one that you give money to the cause, understand that we do not want you to stop doing that EVER, as many problems can be solved by money. Some things though, take another kind of help.
Personal, get involved and get dirty help. And sometimes that kind of help comes with another payoff we don't expect: pain. There are people out there and we are sure you are one, since you are reading a kindness blog that have this heart and drive for helping others. Those are the ones that this blog is for. It is for the friend who has given anyone a shoulder to cry on, then taken another step to help even complete strangers. Need food? Here is where you can go. Sick? Here is a clinic that may be able to help.
We don't do this for the glory, we do it for the good. It is our mission. You become invested in that person, many times not even knowing the full story about how they got to where they are. Their success becomes our badge of honor of sorts even if the helpee is the only one who knows what we have done. And then it happens...failure.
The person who had such promise returns to the life, to the unhealthy habits or relationship they fought so hard to escape. And, as when they succeeded, we now wear their failure, what could we have done? After all, things are supposed to go well, people are changed and saved from their circumstances every day. That is the thing to remember though, that people are changed and saved from their circumstances every day. By people who are kind enough to help. Sometimes many times. Should we stop trying? NO. Should we take another's setback personally? NO.
There are times that these trying circumstances might be our test. How serious are we about showing kindness to people who are not the easiest to receive it? Or those that we think are not really trying to help themselves as much as WE would like. In most things in life, there is probably a payoff. The payoff to changing is a new and different life. The payoff to not changing is comfort, because even if it is bad, it is their bad. The payoff to being kind is knowing that no one can take that kindness away from that person, that where ever their personal journey may take them, be it gutters or mountains that you were there, you were kind.
What you do does matter. The times that make all this advice of kindness difficult is when it involves people we love, family, friends. We are not objective in these times because we are invested in the outcome. We expect more of them then we do complete strangers and when they fail we feel it so much deeper. There is no advice, no answer for these times.
However, maybe these few lines from the poem, “Anyway”, by Mother Teresa may help you in your kindness mission:
People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered; Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; be kind anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; it was never between you and them anyway.