How can we truly be helping people?
In a recent business meeting I got to listen to and later meet Ron Hall, who is the co-author of “The same kind of different as me”. One of the most thought provoking questions was whether or not we are really helping homeless people, or if we are merely blessing them by giving them money?
Ponder this question with me for just a second. Blessing someone with a cash-rush is very short term sustainable. Chances of you making a long term impact on the person are slim to none. No, I am not advocating giving nothing to homeless people. Quite to the contrary, but you are not really helping the individual out – you are blessing them.
True help goes a few levels deeper than that:
- Meet folks at eye level. Knock down any real or perceived barriers and show that you genuinely care for others.
- Listen well what is being said. Often the most important info resides in the small detail stuff. Enough said.
- A 20 Dollar bill may help feed the body, but a one-on-one meeting in which you show how you care by deeply listening you start helping feed the soul and spirit.
- Helping is a long term commitment – rush and you lose. Genuinely caring for each other does not come overnight.
- Ask yourself what more you can do? It is mostly your attitude that can get into the way of helping.
Whenever I used to give a few Dollars to homeless folks I used to think I was helping them. That is actually not true; we are blessing them. They can make it through the next few hours or days with it. Long term help would look at helping out alongside folks.
I don’t know about you, but the even more uncomfortable thought is how and where amongst our friends and family we are more a blessing than actual help. Does our blessing amount to a mere fizzle in a hot pan? How can we turn that around and actually be the long term help so many of them could use desperately? Are we in for the long run and actually helping people in other situations, or are we also only blessing them?