Although I know this is an important piece of me, this may be a small post because I think I have it fairly well balanced. I do like to help. I think it dovetails nicely with being a fixer. I want to help people. I want to help clean up the party. I want to help find that person a job. I want to help and support this person as they embark on an adventure or new stage of life. I wish I could help everybody.
I keep it under control, though. I know that I have to take care of myself first, or I can’t take care of others. I know that I have to feed and clothe my own children before I can feed and clothe others. I know that I can’t give money to every cause that I believe in, I can’t give my time to every friend and needy stranger who could use it. There is only so much of me.
Sometimes I may have difficulty understanding when people don’t want help. I think I’m getting better at that. I try to remember to ask first, especially before doing anything that invades somebody else’s personal space. I’m a little too free on giving advice, though. I tend to run at the mouth when I think I have something to offer on a subject.
I don’t think that wanting to help comes from image concerns, or from my status in my social circles. I could see that being a possibility, that wanting to help could be a learned behavior produced by social expectations. I’m sure some cultural conditioning is in there, but I don’t think it’s everything. There are a lot of heartless bastards out there coming out of the same culture. Sure, I strive to improve myself, and one of the avenues I may choose is through improving the quantity and/or quality of the help I can provide to others. However, that doesn’t diminish the existence of the original impulse.
Other people express concern that I don’t do enough for myself, while I worry that I don’t do enough for others. In that, I think there is a balance that says maybe I am doing it right, at least on this part.