I have a confession to make.
I hate helping people. I mean I absolutely loathe, abhor, despise helping people.
There, I said it.
It’s not exactly the easiest thing to say, considering pretty much everyone thinks helping others is the one and only way of saving your soul from eternal damnation.
And as the world gets closer and closer to what many people believe is the end, this epidemic is getting more and more rampant. Haven’t you seen it yet? All those people on Facebook and Twitter “calling out” one another for being too thoughtless, uncaring, and unhelpful at a time when they say all we really need to do is to help each other.
The Amazon rainforest is burning and people are starving and animals are going extinct one by one because we humans can’t seem to find our place in this world and people who can’t take in all this misery are thinking of jumping off bridges while their parents keep downing alcohol to pretend that nothing wrong is happening. All the while capitalists and their politician puppets are taking your money and dealing drugs and booze and sex under the table.
Yes, I know these are all legitimate concerns that require attention. Yes, I know people actually do need any help they can get. And yes, I know helping people isn’t a bad thing. There’s no good or bad thing anyway. It all comes down to how you see them.
And this is why I’d rather step away from the drama that’s been brewing on my news feed and in my personal life for, well, over 32 years now. People think they need to help people because if they don’t, something bad will happen. And if something bad happens, then they’d feel guilty about it and they’d hate themselves for not trying to be a good person. Do you see where this is going? Most of the time, people help people, people help animals, people help Mother Earth not because it comes from a place of love or joy. They do it because it comes from a place of inadequacy. They do it because it comes from a place of heavy obligation. They do it because if they don’t, they’d feel not good enough. They’d feel like a bad person who needs to be punished for their sins now or burn in hell forever.
And how exactly has that worked for you? And, more importantly, how has all this obligatory helping worked for the people or the animals or the planet that you say you want to help? They’re still miserable in a rat race they never wanted to be a part of. They’re still dying out on the human race. She’s still ravaging us with earthquakes and typhoons and natural disasters that have taken a long time coming.
Do you know why people don’t seem to care?
Do you know why people keep posting insensitive pictures of their boobs hanging out as they walk down Fifth Avenue on 9/11?
Do you know why, after just a week of spreading fake pictures of the Amazon burning (Yes, they are fake! Google it.), people have quickly gone back to posting pictures of their un-Instagrammable breakfasts again?
Do you know why people don’t vote? Do you know why they don’t donate to charity? Do you know why they buy instant coffee from land-grabbing corporations instead of buying fair-trade from small farmers?
No, it’s not that they can’t afford to focus on others. It’s not that they’re so poor all they can think of is keeping themselves and their children alive. And hell no, it’s not that the system is set up so the rich can take advantage of the poor, no matter what you see on the news these days. (Side note: I trained as a journalist. I know how our filters and biases and stubborn refusal to entertain what we don’t believe in shape what gets aired or published and what doesn’t.)
Let’s stop blaming the system, shall we? Because the capital-T Truth of the matter is, all the system has ever done to you and to the billions of suffering souls on this planet is to encourage you to forget who you truly are deep, deep, deep inside. That’s all there is to the system, nothing else. All the while you’re shaking your fists in fury and thinking, “It’s the system. It’s the fucking system we can’t get rid of,” your inner self is rolling her eyes at you, sighs, and patiently waits for you to get it.
I hate to break it to you (or not), but it’s not the system. It’s you.
People don’t know how to genuinely care about burning rainforests and dying animals because you keep forcing them to see things from your own perspective. They don’t want to listen to your rants about how human rights ain’t pie because, somewhere in that jaded head of yours, you’ve already classified them as dumb and heartless. So why should they even bother listening in the first place? They vote for politicians who have no ounce of leadership potential in their bones because you keep shoving your own political beliefs down their throats while you try to foolishly convince yourself that you’re helping them by “educating” them.
People don’t do the things you think they should do because you keep thinking they should do it. They should. They should. They should. And if they don’t, they’re disgusting members of the human race who shouldn’t even be called humans in the first place. Essentially, you’ve labeled the helpers, the selfless do-gooders, the activists as good. And everyone else who isn’t them is bad. And that is exactly why you can’t see the change you want to see in the world. You refuse to see the good even when it’s staring you right in the face.
Look here. I’m not blaming you. I’m just pointing out an inconvenient truth—one you have to face sooner or later if you truly want to help make the world a better place.
The people you think need help because they can’t help themselves don’t need your help. Ask the poor, the sick, the elderly. Go ahead. Ask them who they’d want to help them? The person who thinks it’s an awful world we live in and so they should do their best to make it a bit more bearable or the person who sees them as beautiful creatures who have their own wondrous stories and lessons to share? I bet you know who you’d want to help you.
The people you think should help because it’s the only way to prove themselves don’t need to prove themselves. And you don’t either. There’s this thing going around in self-improvement circles about how you have to give value first. You have to prove yourself first by doing something that helps people. And then the world gets to recognize your worth.
Doesn’t that seem backwards and maddeningly foolish to you? If you’re deeply in touch with your inner self, it would. Because why the heck do you even need to prove your worth first? You don’t need to try and provide something that’s valuable to people. You won’t be able to give something of value if you’re trying anyway. Because you were born valuable. You were born worthy. You were born with the natural capacity to make everything around you better just by being who you are. And nothing can take that away from you. You may forget about it for a while, but it’s always going to be there.
I didn’t write this blog post so I could help you. I didn’t come here to try and provide value. I’m not trying to prove my worth by doing things that I think could make your life easier. I’m doing this because this is who I am. I see things beyond what most people can see and way beyond what most people are comfortable seeing. That’s who I have always been, which is why I felt awkward and out of place as a little girl. I still do sometimes, but I’m getting better at not caring about it.
And the good news about all this? The people I am meant to help will get it. They’ll get it so deeply they won’t be able to use language to explain how it feels at first. The people I am meant to anger will get angry. They’ll feel all sorts of horrible sensations wriggling around inside their chest that they’ll consider unfollowing me just to keep their peace. And the people who weren’t meant to care won’t care. They’ll go ahead and scroll past because they’ve never read anything longer than two sentences before.
There’s nothing I need to do. I just have to be who I am.
The same is true with you. There’s nothing you need to do. There’s no one you need to help. You just have to dig deep and find who you truly are. When that happens, you won’t be able to un-find yourself. All the things you thought were undeniable facts about the world and how it works will unravel. And the people you thought badly, desperately needed your help? You’ll start seeing them as who they truly are too, even before they could do that for themselves. And that is the only kind of help that’s worth giving out to others.