A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

Helping others

To truly help someone, we need to remove any expectation of receiving a return of any type in the future. How often have you heard, or even said something along the following lines: sure I’ll give you a hand with, in exchange for your help with this later. This is not helping, this is the bartering of services. It doesn’t matter if its helping someone move, providing a sympathetic ear, or whatever we are seeking. Now I am not saying that if someone asks to borrow a few dollars, that expecting a payback is not correct, as they asked to borrow the money. Telling them that sure I’ll lend you $20 but you owe me $25 later, is not right, and definitely shows it’s about what you get back.. My point is when we offer our assistance, it should not be quid pro quo. Rather help our friends or relatives, and just tell them to help someone who needs their help in the future. Perhaps it will be you, perhaps you will not need their help, however someone else might. It’s about being helpful, as part of our daily lives. If its a stranger we meet that needs a hand, such as a door held open, or a heavy package moved, we pitch in, we don’t leave our name and number with a, you owe me written on it.

The main point I’m making is that as we should help without expectation. Also when we receive a hand, asking what we can do in exchange, instead of gratefully accepting is also wrong. When we are the recipient, we should say thank you, and if we see the person or any other person needing a hand, we can provide without harming ourselves, then we pitch in. By doing good deeds without expectation of return, shows compassion. Receiving help without attachment to the giver is also something we should strive for. If we attach to the act from either side, we diminish it, being helpful should be part of our nature. Imagine if everyone helped others with out expectation, how much better the world might be.

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