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Sunday, March 1, 2009

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Help or Harm

Anyone who attains a minimal level of success or even a degree of enlightenment understands that there is no true and lasting achievement without helping others and making a difference in the world around you. While most everyone would agree on the fact that they want to help others, the act of helping another person is not as easy to identify as you might think.

Abraham Lincoln said, "The worst thing you can do for anyone you care about is anything that they can do on their own." People who are given things, opportunities, and solutions without earning or paying for them often are harmed more than they are helped. Wealth without work, position without effort, and remedy without resource is seldom positive in the long run.

The majority of lottery winners are in worse financial condition five years after their winning number is called
than they were before playing the lottery. They suffer a much higher divorce rate and instance of drug abuse and alcoholism.

At some point in life, all mature people learn that actions have consequences -- either good or bad. The sooner we can learn this lesson, the more productive and peaceful life we will have. If you shelter a child from all consequences of their decisions, you may protect them temporarily from a few bumps or scrapes.

Unfortunately, you may relegate them to making a poor decision during a life or death situation. We all need to learn that the stove is hot--one time--the hard way. From then on, we are cautious around stoves and begin to consider the consequences of other decisions.

Any study of successful people in our society will reveal a disproportionate number of underprivileged immigrants achieving great success in a relatively short period of time. There is nothing innate about financial struggles, language barriers, and cultural challenges that make people succeed. It is simply that enduring problems and overcoming barriers is a habit that, once learned, carries over into every area of our lives.

That person that turned you down for help may have done you the greatest favor of all. Self-reliance and independence are critical parts of succeeding in life. All of us have received a hand up at one time or another, and hopefully have offered the same to those coming along behind us; but it is important to be sure that we are helping and not harming those that we care about.

As you go through your day today, look for ways to assist others, and eliminate any harm you're doing by trying to help in ways people can perform on their own.

[Source: jimstovall.com, by Jim Stovall]



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2 comments:

Debbie Berry on March 16, 2009 at 9:29:00 PM GMT+8 said...

I really like this post a lot. May I have your permission to post a link to it from my blog (myownsandbox)? Debbie :)

1d on March 16, 2009 at 11:03:00 PM GMT+8 said...

sure, Debbie =)

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