What helping others taught me about my life.
I hate the word philanthropy. I really do. Maybe this word for me responds to the fact that I hate what I don’t understand ( and I am pretty sure it stops there). What is philanthropy?
I am lucky enough to speak Greek so I can understand the two words that make this, made by a stupid man, word. So, we have philos (which means friend) and anthropos ( which means human!) So we are genius now to understand that in Greek philanthropos is someone who….is friend of…humans! I am so happy for him…but…what are the other guys? And why don’t we have a word that describes the other guys? Who are the other guys…where do they live? If they are extremely poor they can’t be philanthropists, they are the ones that receive it. (for some reason we can’t have both!) if they are everyday people they, at least, don’t give a shit about their fellow humans ,or if they are rich, they, at least, don’t care about others.
A philanthropist is a rich guy that helps the poors. When you think of a philanthropist, you do not think of a person that works with another for the second’s benefit. The difference is we need to work together. That’s why I think this word should pass in history. It has nothing to do with the future society, we as human kind deserve.
I have been interacting with other people and animals all my life. What this behavior taught me is that we are a part of an animal society and the most ridiculous thing is to feel superior when you help someone. You are just in a different period of time with the other person that currently feels weak. I can learn from this to make myself better and maybe avoid some mistakes that lead in this situation. I can also ask for help when I feel weak for some reason or another, from people who do not feel superior than me in this period of their lives, they just love working with others. This helps to the one in need psychology, you know, that’s why many people don’t ask for help. They feel ashamed for others’ people interaction to their problem.
I have made a list of what helping others have taught me so far about people and myself and I am sure that this list will grow bigger as a grow older.
1. We all repeat a story in our minds. You do the same, I do the same. We repeat a story continuously and this story becomes our reality in a small or big period of time. 3 years ago, I met a woman who lived alone. She had adopted a stray dog that followed her to her home. The woman didn’t know that the dog was pregnant, the dog gave birth to 5 puppies. Short after talking to her I understood that the enemy was between her ears.she considered herself as lonely because she was unique and no one would understand her. I cannot imagine, how many years of her life she repeated the story to herself and made this story her reality. She would listen to no one that wanted to help her. She was very kind and educated, but that did not stop her from ruining her life. This woman was a life lesson for me. This period I was trapped in my own mind too, in a different way. Talking to her made me listen to myself while talking and deeply I understood that in reality I was talking to myself. She didn’t listen to me, but I did. I changed the narration I was saying and made a new one, more positive. The more positive narration leaded to a more positive story. I change the narration regularly since then.
2. Read people’s behaviours and translate them in you life! What a magic word I used in the last sentence of the previous paragraph, because of the kind lady that refused to change! The easier we change our mind about things, the easier we change our story. There is a myth that the people with strong ego are the strong ones. Personally I think this is a scam that makes both the person and the people around him suffer. If your previous behavior doesn’t serve you anymore, quit it! Do whatever serves your happiness! It is impossible to be sure about your attitude, especially in your 20’s and 30’s, come on! Change! Write a whole book of your life, don’t read the first page all over again and again!
3. We don’t watch documentaries, we are documentaries. When you volunteer in a healthy way you feel super exited! It gives you positive energy, happiness and self respect. Yes, it is not about brag, it is about self esteem. When you are a person that experiences things on the road, you don’t need to watch documentaries about life, you are the hero of your own documentary. In my late 20’s I was wrecked. I was lost, really I didn’t have the will to face my day. BUT. When I got to the road to help, I was my hero. Honestly, I wouldn’t watch TV, as long as people like me weren’t invited there J
4. We are part of our tribe. When you get in touch with people from different backgrounds, you just understand that you are a member of our tribe, our society that experiences things from one and only aspect. You are just in a different period of life, in comparison with the person you “help” .He is either younger than you or older. Basically, do you really know how you ‘ ll be when you are older? Are you sure about that? Maybe in your first years of your life you were lucky to have parents, but it was just luck. No one is superior in our tribe. Everyone knows things all the others don’t. Let people interact with you and take notes, baby. That’s how you grow.
5. It is your duty to go, it is your duty to leave. This is the most important part, for me. Helping is like the military. You don’t stay there forever. You go there, you listen, you breath and you leave. Furthermore, it is very important to be careful as far as humans are concerned, you know have you ever heard about soul vampires? Do whatever serves you always and forever. Helping is a circle, you come today, I will come tomorrow, someone else will be there the day after tomorrow. Don’t get frustrated and addicted in helping, because it is not healthy for your mental health. We need happy people, not overwhelmed and frustrated, always remember that, my friend.
Everything that I mentioned about people can easily be translated in animals too. Basically it is even better. Help whatever breaths, but always remember the fifth part of our list. We want you happy.