Time and money spent in helping men to do more for themselves is far better than mere giving.

Time and money spent in helping men to do more for themselves is far better than mere giving. – Henry Ford

Someone has to fix the gear. Could you help? For the introverted geeks out there, this might be a way to help.

Someone has to fix the gear. Could you help? For the introverted geeks out there (like me), this might be a way you could help as well as give. While this is an old guitar tube amp, every PA system or electronic gadget will need a little TLC now and then, right?

What does that mean?
This quote is about giving, or being charitable. We generally like to give to those less fortunate, or who are having a hard time. That’s just the in the nature for most of humanity.

That said, some have had it trained out of them, by upbringing or culture. That’s OK, you can change, if you want to. But the point of the quote is about how we give and how to get the most, or give the most assistance.

It’s nice to give something, and then walk away. While a wise person will use that gift to improve their situation and themselves, some are either too desperate, or unable to figure out how to best help themselves.

That’s where taking the time to help them understand how to better themselves and get out of the misfortune in which they find themselves mired. That’s what this quote is about, teaching and helping in addition to giving.

Why is helping as well as giving important?  
Yes, I know it’s not always possible. Sometimes you’re giving to a group of people on the other side of the planet. But the most effective charities don’t just air-drop help and hope the people can make use of the gifts.

The most effective groups have boots on the ground. They have people who can provide assistance, teach and help with the necessary activity. This, in theory, helps the people become better at self-sufficiency.

By helping them to help themselves, you can try to let them learn and become self-sufficient. In that manner, they no longer need your help nor your gifts. You can move on and help others, confident in the knowledge that they will do well in your absence.

In this manner, our gifts don’t just help for a day or a month, they can help for years, even for a lifetime. For me, there is no greater feeling than knowing that someone no longer needs your help. That feeling never gets old, and never ceases to warm my heart.

Where can I apply this in my life?
I imagine you could use it anywhere you would normally give. Please understand that this isn’t a quote about not giving, but about effective giving. If someone is starving, please feed them.

Don’t search the internet for a program to help teach them how to do it. That comes later, after their immediate need is taken care of. I hope that is sufficiently clear, and that the aim and purpose is understood.

As an example, there are plenty of groups which provide aid to starving people around the world. I try to make sure the ones I support are not just sending food, but also sending seeds appropriate to the situation.

If there is a crop disease, they need resistant seeds. If drought is the problem, perhaps a drought-resistant crop, or even a different plant altogether may be the way to go. Sometimes, it’s a matter of teaching the farmers how to best use their land.

Closer to home for those living in a city or the suburbs, there are plenty of people who need various types of help. What could you help teach someone? Do you have a job skill they might be able to learn? If not, what else could you do to support the efforts of those who can?

That is a niche which many people forget. Not everyone is able, or even interested, in being the teacher, or the direct helper. But there are plenty of supporting roles to fill. I cannot think of one organization which ever told me they had too many helpers.

What can you do, to allow those who are willing to teach to be freed up to do exactly that? Can you drive the vehicle, so they can prepare? Can you haul and set up the equipment they need? Can you do the paperwork or go downtown and get permits (when appropriate)?

We can all do a little. And it may not seem like much, but if we all put in a little (or a little more), we can truly make some progress in helping others. And not just by giving, but by getting them back on their feet. That is usually the greatest gift of all.

Once they can contribute, you will often find them back where you found them, but this time, they are helping others as they were helped. People can be that way. Others will find other ways to contribute.

It all starts with us, those with something extra to give. Time, money, presence, skills, willingness, a pickup truck, or any other way in which we can contribute.

From: Twitter, @motivatquotes
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/h/henryford151867.html
Photo by germanium


About philosiblog

I am a thinker, who is spending some time examining those short twitter quotes in greater detail on my blog.
This entry was posted in giving, gratitude, help, knowledge, sharing, time and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Time and money spent in helping men to do more for themselves is far better than mere giving.

  1. Teepee12 says:

    That’s one of the basic tenets of Jewish law. A good one.

    • philosiblog says:

      Yep. The concept shows up in many cultures and quite a few religions, worded as appropriate for the time and the language.
      Thanks for taking the time to read and to comment.

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