Why will I think twice before I will support someone next time?

How many times did you feel proud of yourself as you show support to another person? How many times did you help someone because you think that you are capable of doing it?

Hopefully, the answer is “many”, right?

At the end of the day as humankind, we like to support other people even from selfish reasons. You know this feeling when you helped someone — you feel needed, you feel capable of doing something for or instead or others. It’s always nice to see gestures of gratitude from others or hear words “without you I wouldn’t be able to do it”, “you are amazing”.
Don’t worry feeling those things while helping others doesn’t mean that you are a bad person. We all have egos and from time to time we need someone to fill our ego cups with words of appreciation and recognition.

It’s human thing.

I choose to believe that my biggest life values are“care” and “service” which is directly connected with supporting or helping others, showing compassion when it’s needed. Naturally, in an environment that I find myself, I am becoming this person who “is there for anyone or everyone”. Most of the times I’m taking this role genuinely as I really care, but definitely, there were times that I did something for someone because I felt I might benefit from it. 
Hey! If you are judging me now, don’t do it! I am sure that you did the same. If not? Wow! I would like to learn from you.

So, yes — supporting others is good, right? 
Here goes surprise — it might not be!

I’m still trying to understand this concept but let me share what do I mean.

Many times when we are supporting others somehow somewhere in our subconscious we feel superior or dominant to people that we are supporting, that is why at first place we decided to offer our support. 
For example, men are assigned the role of dominant in a system of dis-equality based on gender. Whites are assigned to play the role of dominant and People of Color are assigned the role of a subordinate in the system of dis-equality based on race. 
How many times, dear ladies, you feel offended when men offer you support of caring your luggage or changing your car wheel, as you felt he think he is better than you? 
How many initiatives can we see around the world where white people are trying to support black communities or showing their compassion with #blacklifematter?

Don’t get me wrong.. I want men to be gentlemen, and I want white people to be compassionate but only if reasons of showing compassion and gesture of care are right!

What is my point here? 
Your support might be an oppression.

Two days I’ve realized that many times when I was trying to help someone actually I was oppressing that person, and I wasn’t even aware of it. Why wasn’t I? Because the society that I was born and raised in thought me to play a certain role in the system and I’ve never questioned that.
I felt comfortable in being white women coming from privilege family and I’ve learned to collaborate with systems of oppression instead of flight with them. 
Many times I felt in a position of doing something for someone as I felt I have more resources or experiences that that person not even realizing that maybe because of my action I might take some growth opportunities from that person life. 
Many times in the street I decided to give to that homeless person 1–2 euro instead of asking question “what does it take for that person to change his or her life” without my ridiculously meaningless support which probably made that person stay longer in the street. 
Many times I felt while watching videos about children from Africa — “ah those poor kids, what can I do to make their future better” instead “what needs to happen so those kids will be able to shape their own future”.

I really hope you get my point now!?

When I’ve realized that actually support that I was giving to people was contributing to a current system of oppression I was in a deep shock that I didn’t realize it so far. I find it as one of the most powerful realization that I got in recent months, maybe even years.

I’ve started my journey as a social entrepreneur and I feel like I am extremely lucky that I got this reflection now. I will change the narrative of my work from “what I can do for or instead of others” to “how I can empower or enable others so they can do it on your own”. Having in mind that “supporting others” won’t be ever my end goal. My end goal is to empower others so they can be their own support system.

Why will I think twice before I will support someone next time?
As I refuse to be part of the system that supports oppression. Simple, as that.

I really hope you won’t get into extreme with this “non-supporting manifesto”. I don’t ask you to do not support others. What I ask you to do is to have your intention straight and be mindful every time you are offering help or support. 
Awareness of individual of social oppressions might bring many institutional or systematic changes.

Positive change always starts from one person, this time it can be you!

Nabrda

Many thoughts were inspired by Barbara J.Love. Check it if social justice is close to your heart: http://www.barbarajlove.com/about-us

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