How Can I Help?2018-05-30T16:42:10+00:00

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How Can I Help?



How Can I Help? That’s the name of this breakout and it’s one of the most common questions that we can hear in society. If you think about the business world… “How can I help you?” It’s ubiquity, for as much as it’s used, I’m learning that it can be actually one of the hardest questions to answer when you really think about it. Because “help” (the word “help”) is one of the most difficult words, I believe, to define.  

According to the Apple Dictionary on my computer “help” means to: firstly, make it easier for someone to do something by offering one’s services or financial or material aid. The second definition for “help” is to improve a situation or problem; or to be of benefit to. The third definition is to assist someone to move in a specified direction. (So they’re going somewhere; you’re helping them go in that direction.) The fourth definition is to relieve the symptoms of (if you think of an ailment). So you’re helping them with that.  

When you think about “help” and when we’re are trying to answer the question “What is help?”, “How do we help people?” it’s important to know what help is not. Help does not inhibit, (these are the antonyms for help) it does not hinder, it does not impede it does not worsen. So if you think about helping somebody you’re not doing these bottom things.

There are perceived needs. What people think they need. And then there are actual needs. And a lot of people will think in many cases that they need money when they actually need money management skills. And so we can have perceived needs and actual needs. So it’s important to get below the surface. There are surface needs but then there are root needs that will actually set them up for change; set them up for actual, deep (if you think about heart change maybe) help. That’s the essence of help.

Transformation. It’s the Band-Aid vs. the surgery that needs to happen. It’s covering up the issue vs. addressing the infection. And many times a person’s root need is beyond our expertise which is frustrating because then we’re having difficulty with relieving these symptoms of a particular ailment because we’re not professionally qualified to address a situation.

So those are some reasons why “help” can be difficult. We all know that, right? It’s pretty obvious. We don’t have to serve the public very long before we discover that helping people in need can be difficult for many reasons; but hopefully that doesn’t stop us from trying our best to help people where we can.

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  • TRAINER: Phillip Telfer-Pastor of Cornerstone Wesleyan Church, Edmonton

     SOURCE:  Volunteer Training Event, Edmonton

    POSTED:  Nov 2017

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