Helping others has never been more important than before. I don’t believe it has to be grand gestures that take us out of our comfort zone or even, require huge amounts of our time or money; although, if that is something you choose to do, good on you. There is actually evidence that helping others (giving) ‘is a powerful pathway to personal growth and lasting happiness’—a quote from this article, The Secret to Happiness is Helping Others.
And who doesn’t need happiness in their lives today or, for that matter, personal growth? Both are geared towards betterment, which is advantageous, right? Helping others, though, has made headlines of late in my hometown with the devastating Queensland floods and also, globally, with the archaic war that has been thrust upon Ukraine.
Both of these extraordinary events have made us stare in horror and fascination; in despair at the tragedy unfolding; and, in admiration as humanity tries to imbue a sense of hope by helping others.
My dad, Eugenio, was always one for helping others. He believed in karma or ‘what goes around comes around’. My mother was always there in the background, helping others in her own way. Sometimes though, she questioned the intent behind 'helping others'. The extract below is from the book, Ciao! We're in Africa, and is one such situation:
My husband is more interested in people if they display quirky traits than if they toe the line or follow processes. He has an innate curiosity that attracts all sorts of characters. At least once a month another candidate would walk into the shop, and soon reveal any number of eccentricities.
One such person is an Indian man with a full head of dark hair, who arrives one day, looking around nervously. With hands clasped in front of him, he asks if he can see il capitano. My suspicious nature immediately goes on high alert. I ask him for his name.
“My name is Hassim, madam. I would be very honoured to visit with him.”
This ingratiating courtesy makes me even warier. So much so that I momentarily consider sending him away. It’s a silly thought, though. Eugenio is a grown man. I must trust him to make his own mind up.
In fact, Hassim turns out to be Eugenio’s kindred spirit for several years. He’s not a bad person; he has a generous heart. But unfortunately, together they form a dangerous duo seeking out money-making opportunities. It becomes second nature to them. The future will see them taking chances and looking for the next big money-spinner. This trait is in their blood; a part of their genetic make-up.