I believe that helping others is something that is very good for you. Of course, it helps the person to whom you offer assistance, but it also helps you.
How does it help you?
Well from experience, it gives you a feeling of well being. It helps you realize how lucky you are with the things that you have. I makes you appreciate life more. All in all, believe me, it is a good thing for you to help others.
Of course, like all of us, I have helped people all of my life. Most of that time, though, I have helped others in a very half-hazard way. I helped when it was convenient to me. I helped when something really needed to be done and caught my attention. I never really just helped for the sake of helping, though.
About a decade ago, though, my wife and I, on Christmas Eve, decided to do something to make our Christmas more special. We decided to do something special for strangers, not just for our family.
We went out and bought a lot of food items – everything from hamburgers from McDonald to bottles of juice. Christmas candy to snacks, and such. In later years, we even bought things like pork, chicken and other foods that the people could enjoy with their families on Christmas.
After purchasing a LOT of stuff, we put it in our car and just started driving around the city and giving the stuff out to homeless people, and others who were obviously poor. Do you know what? Because of what we did, it was the best Christmas I had ever experienced.
One year, when we did this, we went out in a very remote area in the mountains. We saw an old lady walking along the road, obviously very poor. We stopped and gave her a bag of food that she could use to prepare a Christmas feast for her loved ones. When we did, she was astonished, she looked at me and said:
I don’t know what we would have done if you had not shown up. You are an angel. We ran out of money yesterday, and also have no food.
It honestly brought tears to my eyes, and I have never forgotten the lady. By doing something for her, I was helping myself, because I felt so good.
In fact, I am somewhat ashamed to admit this, but in doing this year after year, I am really doing it for myself, not others. It is a selfish thing to say, but I like the feeling that I get when I help others.
More recently, my family and I have been visiting an orphanage not far from where we live. The place has somewhere between 50 to 100 children who live there. Some have medical problems. Others are only there because their parents cannot afford to care for them. I really enjoy visiting those kids, because it is so obvious that the children are starved for attention and affection. If you just pick up the small kids and hold them for a few minutes, you can see the good feeling that they get. Sometimes it is sad, because the kids don’t want you to put them down. But, you have to put them down eventually, there are so many other kids who want a few minutes of attention too.
Helping others is therapeutic. It makes you feel good. It makes you understand that your problems are really so small compared to what others are facing.
Try it. I am certain that you will come away with pure joy, as I have.