The Helping Hand

Have you been the helping hand to someone in need? Have you been used because you were? What about the one who received help and failed to make something of it? The fact of help is a curious and interesting thing of human nature. In the animal kingdom there is also help, but humans can become reliant on that help. Why?

The strange part in humanity is those who are drowning in their despair and are not able to understand that they have made their fates.  For instance the addicted junkie can’t seem to help themselves from their torment of chasing highs and the problem of financing their habits. The fact is that so many people out there have established their lives by their choices. They continue to cycle the same choice again and again.

This is the reason for much of homelessness, or drug addictions, it’s the reason people fall into the pits of despair. However, one may say that means they need the help all the more. Which may be true. However, the question that drives me before I help anyone is, are they wanting to change? If the person really wants to change the habit, not just by saying but in action and behaviors displays a true desire to change, then I am willing to help. However this is few of those in despair.

I often consider the story of Odysseus as they traveled the river Styx. The men were cautioned not to look overboard as their family, or friends could be souls of the damned in the river that would cry for help. Those who saw them reached out only to either fall overboard, or be pulled under. Those damned souls couldn’t help themselves, their desperation is a cry for help, but the help that is offered can destroy others.

How cautionary a tale as that, those willing to pull their friends or family down into depths of the river Styx simply because of their own plight. So strange to consider that they could be so selfish. Yet time and time again has proven to show that humanity can be so individually selfish. The story although a fictitious was a symbol of humanity to a degree of their own desires to help, and the ones who are damned.

Yet there continues to be aid, programs, and otherwise to entice those damned souls in Styx, they have help. They just more than not ruin the chances, burn the bridges, and take whatever is offered without appreciation. They burn the chances away and think why they don’t have help. The next pour soul to reach out may be another victim of their desperation and inability to do it themselves.

The helping hand isn’t about helping all, it’s about helping those in need. Those who need the help but may not even voice it. Those who need it and are trying everything they can to continue to succeed. Those who do not let failure and mistakes stop them or define them and continue to press forward. They are more than able to change their plight, more than willing to take the help and make something of it.

If you are the one who’s burned bridges, and taken the help time and time again but still find yourself in the misery, the first thing you need to do is know that you are responsible. That is the start, while this may cause a definite sense of self-hate, it doesn’t need to be that extreme. Just know the next step is make different choices. You continue to know the results of certain choices, you know what things are by now (unless you’re a child). These are your choices and you can control your choices. You can change your mind. Choose the harder choice, make a different decision than the ones that continue to put you in compromising situations.

The next step would be to change your perception.  This is the most difficult step because it requires a ton of introspection. It requires a ton of retrospection. To consider the fact that you’ve been wrong about everything. Consider you were wrong for every moment of your life and look back and see if maybe you were. See your actual mistakes and know that you can learn from those now, and that you can change the way you see yourself, you can change the way you see the world. You can change.

Then when you receive the helping hand you can do something with it. Climb to greater heights. You can help others more effectively when you yourself are on stable ground to do so. You are able to appreciate the help that is offered because you understand what it takes to do it on your own. You know what it is to even make that offer of help. But the next time you take the risk of offering that helping hand, ask yourself if that person really wants to change?

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