If you’re reading this, you’re probably a person who isn’t afraid to help others.
But let’s face it. A lot of us are.
I’ve always liked helping people. For the past year and a half, I’ve been trying to start a nonprofit. And as I’ve waited to hear back from the IRS, I tell people cheerfully, “Whether or not this nonprofit gets approved, I’ll always be able to help people my entire life.”
I think the problem with people who are afraid to help people lies in their distaste for making people breakfast in bed and they’re not wrong. It’s isolating to wake up earlier than your loved one, saddening to make breakfast alone, and the whole situation creates a mess in the bed. Their default face never recovers from the surprise. They yum it up with a disgusting slurp. You feel like a servant in a way. And they didn’t get to brush their teeth.
Helping people can go so much better than this. First of all, breakfast in bed has a very small impact. It’s just for your lover or for your folks or something. It’s possible to have a very large impact when you help people. Donating 10 sweaters to a homeless shelter already has a larger impact.
Moreover, breakfast is something that your lover or your folks could make themselves. They have the ingredients probably already in their kitchen. They might have been able to prepare it more to their own liking. When chefs have been preparing needy people food during covid for free, their impact goes a lot further.
Furthermore, with this breakfast in bed you only saved them maybe a half an hour of their day, and now they have to wash the bedding, so that’s net an hour and a half lost. If you work as a librarian, you can save people a lot of time searching for a book by knowing its title from their details.
Helping people doesn’t have to feel like an isolating kitchen stint, tiptoeing around with paranoia about waking somebody up, turning on the gas oven burners as quietly as possible. Helping people can be as fun as volunteering at a public garden, helping nanna in her garden, or starting a veggie garden with your kids.
There’s something about breakfast in bed that makes you feel like a servant, but helping people doesn’t have to feel like servitude at all. When you do it right, it’s empowering, spiritually enlightening, and joyful. A lot of the time you can put it on your resume. And there are no shortage of jobs helping people. Practically all jobs are.
A teacher helps students to learn. A principal helps the students and teachers. A superintendent helps the students and teachers and principals. Everybody else helps the superintendent by making them feel welcome when they visit the school.
Administrative Assistants are always helping their boss, and helping their boss with the clients, and the boss is always helping the clients, which is the Administrative Assistant’s job, and helping the Administrative Assistant do their job otherwise. The clients would be nice to help out the Administrative Assistant with reminding them of their name when they come to the office.
Does niceness still seem like a chore? Many of us superhero fans seem to actually extol niceness so much as a supernatural ability, that we forget that we can do it ourselves, even if we never make somebody a breakfast in bed. Honestly, helping people can be just as exhilarating as being a superhero.
In comes the internet. There are two kinds of people on the internet—people who do and do not consider themselves to be an expert at something. If you do consider yourself to have some expertise, the internet is a 24-hour free amusement park of helping people.
All you have to do is have the computer savvy to make accounts, probably upload a picture at times of basically anything to help you if you’re not computer savvy, and help away.
Even if you feel that you have no advanced knowledge in anything, we all are born with the innate ability to be nice. Comment, comment, comment. Nobody makes a post without feeling a little vulnerable, like they went out on a limb in a way, so any comment is truly appreciated. Every comment might also feel like going out on a limb, so reactions are appreciated as well.
Honestly, if you hate the making-breakfast-in-bed feeling, you can always say no. But probably 4/5 ways to help people do not feel like this at all. Even starting a nonprofit organization. I recommend trying. And in the time it takes to hear back, and whether it works out or not, you have the ability to always help people no matter what. Even by teaching a 15-year-old girl how to wing her eyeliner at 4 a.m. Oh, that’s actually a 35-year-old, and I am being helped.