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A Guide to Helping the Needy

Updated on September 7, 2020
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Eesha is a Social Sciences and Humanities undergraduate student. She is a passionate writer and loves using words to spread awareness.

Life can be difficult and painful. There are moments when we feel stuck, as if we are surrounded from all sides with infinite obstacles and challenges. Trying to pass every hurdle can be exhausting and all of us are bound to experience this atleast once in our lives. One of the most satisfying and enriching experiences of life is to help a person in need. It is gratifying for you, knowing that you were able to help someone in need, and inspiring to others to do the same when they have the opportunity to help someone. That is why it is important to understand effective ways to help people around us.

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”

— Charles Dickens

It is not important to have all of the answers. A person going through a difficult time may feel that their problems are insurmountable and in attempting to be helpful, we can make things worse by providing unsolicited advice. Some problems, such as severe depression, require professional help and you can always help guide the person in the direction towards the answers and/or help they need. If one does not know what to say, it is always better, to be honest, and say “I don’t know what to say but I’m here for you”. The best thing to do is to set aside all or any distractions and be present with the person, holding their hand as they go through a difficult time. It is a powerful way to demonstrate to them that you care for them.

The global extreme poverty rate could rise by 0.3 to 0.7 percentage points, to around 9 percent in 2020. Additionally, the percentage of people living on less than $3.20 a day could rise by 0.3 to 1.7 percentage points, to 23 percent or higher, an increase of some 40 million to 150 million people.

A drowning person does not care about the shoreline, the people around them the buildings, or even the boat in the distance. They are only concerned about keeping their head above the surface. Similarly, a person in need can get lost in a storm of emotions and need to be anchored in reality. Not losing yourself in panic and distress, and keeping a cool demeanor is important in such situations to allow yourself to be of more help to the person. Helping the person find a tangible course of action towards approaching the problem, often by persuading them to talk to a professional, can help them get through whatever obstacle they are facing. If worse becomes worst, one can always use crisis hotlines, where operators can provide psychological assistance to those in need.

A recent poll from YouGov, a polling firm and market research company, found that 30 percent of millennials say they feel lonely. This is the highest percentage of all the generations surveyed.

One can always help those in need by offering kindness to those around them, as even a simple kind gesture can greatly improve someone's day. Community service can help improve the lives of others, as you connect with the community and gain an insight into other people’s lives. Volunteering at a school, helping at a food bank, collecting litter in parks, teaching disadvantaged children, and assisting at an animal shelter, orphanage, or retirement home are some examples of how one can help those in need.

Moreover, one can also donate to social causes, as charity can help those in need, whom you cannot reach out to yourself. Donating money to charities or in your local communities can provide someone the monetary aid they need to pay rent/loans, get a hot meal, or even warm clothes in the winter. Donating unused items such as old clothes and furniture can greatly improve someone’s life.

We often feel powerless to help those in need, due to lack of money, or skills. However, it is always possible to help someone by just being there for them. When we are presented with opportunities to help others, we should try our best to take them and make a positive change.

“In this human world, the misery of the humans can only be lifted by the humans, who are courageous and conscientious enough to take real actions, instead of meekly hoping and praying for an illusory divine intervention"

— Abhijit Naskar

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Eesha


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