I’ve always been a friendly person, and someone who has embraced the concept of reaching out to support others. Especially those who are too proud to ask for help. Sometimes simply acknowledging another person is a form of being helpful. Consider the last time when someone you know walked by you without say hello, and it would have been appropriate for them to do so. Perhaps one of your colleagues, or worse, your boss or a family member.
When was the last time you did something to help another person? Fortunately, the response from the majority of people will be that it was recently. However, what separates people who naturally gravitate towards genuinely helping others, from those who are possibly guilted into doing so isn’t such a stark contrast as you might think.
The reason some people help others more than others is tied to a number of factors. The first one is that there was a point in their life that they can point to when someone helped them. It was also an experience which made a significant difference in their situation. Another factor is that the majority of people will tell you they feel happier when they can and do help out another individual.
People will tell you that they are committed to helping others because they feel they have been granted more opportunities for success than others. Some might call this a form of privilege not everyone benefits from. Not everyone feels this way, but when they do, the difference they can make because of this emotion or recognition in others’ lives can be remarkable. Keep in mind that it is not always a monetary scenario that is helpful. Lending your time and attention to someone can be a more powerful way of supporting someone.
Fortunately, there are numerous organizations that are setup to support others, and also thousands of opportunities for people to tap into funding to provide them with support. I was reminded of this recently when I was doing some research on funding options for some projects I am working on. Unlike projects I have worked on in the past, the particular project I am focused on could be one to receive a grant to extend help others.
For years others have been tapping into grants to support their humanitarian efforts. It was eye opening for me to see how many funding options are available to provide help. However, this hasn’t been a route I have ventured down. Namely because the majority of my professional career prior to becoming an entrepreneur has been focused on commercial, for profit products and services.
Having access to funding options to help others is definitely something I will be looking more into. It opens up possibilities beyond what I imagined. Even better news is that I have both the ability to seek grants, and also the expertise to share with others to help support them. Both parties benefit from this scenario.
As a business entrepreneur, my mind queued up to consider possible new directions to assist others. From my perspective, this is a win/win scenario for everyone. This wasn’t always the case in the professional world I have evolved out of. However, I am grateful for the experience it provided me to be able to apply and share it with others.
Consider a time when things in your life, or a particular situation were not going well. Was there someone who seemingly swooped in to assist you? Were you surprised by who it was? Or, was it someone who routinely has been there for you? If it was the later response, consider yourself to be very fortunate. Not everyone has someone like that in their lives.
As a parent, I have had a plethora of situations to help our children. When they were younger, I would classify the type of help they needed as being more physical support (e.g., learning to walk, feed themselves). However, as they matured and became young adults, the type of support they needed was far different than I had anticipated. Why? Because it required a great deal of emotional and mental support as they ventured through their new experiences.
Prior to having children, I didn’t realize that the experience of managing other people would provide me with the skills and expertise as an advantage of helping to guide our own children. This has to do with the fact that many of the scenarios I had to help others manage through, are now ones our own young adults are contending with.
Being able to leverage my professional experience to help my own family and now thousands of others around the globe, is beyond something I envisioned happening. However, I’m eternally grateful this occurred, and want to express my thanks to those who supported me to be able to get to this point in my life. They include my husband Stephen Shinnick, my parents Daniel and Emily Murphy and my grandparents who are no longer with us.
So, would I say that being helpful to others is overrated? No. In fact it is one of the most humane acts someone can do. What will you be doing to help someone else today, tomorrow and beyond? I know what I’ll be doing, and I hope you have some solid ideas too.
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