It is a Pleasure
I believe there is no experience like helping others. Somebody told me once that: “Happiness consists of giving more and asking for less.” Then I thought, “It is impossible for me to do something to somebody without expecting something back. I give you love so you can love me back. I do a favor for you so you say thanks, then I could feel good.” If people did not respond to my kindness the way I expected, I would become sad. This feeling wasn’t good at all. I thought that expecting something from others was an unconscious feeling I couldn’t control but I was only 16 years old. It wasn’t until life taught me that people do not always love you back and that people do not always say thanks that I realized the real meaning and the truthfulness of that simple phrase. I understood that every time I helped somebody it wasn’t necessary that they say thanks for me to feel happy. After realizing that, my life changed. I began to help, to do good, to give love, and to be kind without expecting anything. I was never disappointed again. My happiness was in my hands.
I remember the day I went to Eddy’s house with some of my friends. Eddy is a 20 year old boy that is not able to walk because of an accident. A wave hit his back when he was out swimming one day. After that, he just became a prisoner in a wheelchair. Being able to visit Eddy in the state of misery that he was suffering and listening to his words gave me strength and made me realize that there were no serious problems in my life. One day God gave me the feeling of sharing the little money I had with someone who had even less. I knew Eddy was living with his mom and sister and that only his mom was working as a cashier in Publix. There he was, with the money in his hands, totally touched. His eyes turned red, he could only say, “Thanks”. His tears did not allow him to say more. There could have never been a better use for that money.
There are many ways of helping others such as simply being in silence and listening to everything someone has to say. I like listening to others and this sometimes helps more than saying thousands of words. Some people do not even have someone that listens to them. They start talking about sadness, problems, and pain. They talk and mitigate their burdened souls through words and feel much better. Then they give you a smile as an invaluable reward of your silence. There could not be a better reward for such an easy task.
Sometimes your silence is not enough. Sometimes people need to hear what you have to say about their issues and their sorrow. Simple and sincere words can be really helpful to a sad person. Every time I talk to others and I encourage them, my own soul receives strengths and I find myself being more positive than when I don’t do so. Encouraging others when they are desperate, worried, or simply sad is a mutual benefit.
When I share, keep silence, or say positive things to those who need them, I understand better the love of God, who helps me in every step of my life. God gives me, so I can give. God wants to use me as an instrument of relive. Being used by God is one of His purposes for my life. For that reason, this experience is so positive. Letting God accomplish his purpose in my life is the only way I feel real pleasure.
I can remember the smell of the hospital. I can close my eyes and see the long halls and the patients on their beds. Some patients have company, but most of them are alone. I can imagine myself introducing to strangers, telling them my name, smiling to them, kissing or simply shaking hands with no fear but warmness. Hospitals are full of depressed, lonely, desperate, sad, and hopeless people. I don’t have to do much to make them feel a little bit better. I just arrive, smile, talk to them, and make them smile back using any silly joke. Some people in there never receive a visit from any family member or friend; maybe because they are too busy working. Sometimes those unfortunate people just don’t get happy when I visit them. There is no reason in their conscious opinion for being happy. Some of them are about to die but at least, when I arrive, they don’t feel alone for one minute or two, and that definitely counts. The feeling of giving a drop of relief to the hopeless, to the ill, is something that cannot be accurately defined with words. You have to experience it to get the real sense of it. Forgetting about myself to live for others is the most effective way of working on my own happiness.
I remember one of the people I prayed with at the hospital some weeks ago. She could not even talk. I entered her room not for coincidence but for providence. I was looking for someone else but there she was, totally alone. I couldn’t leave the room without getting near her and praying with her. I know she needed it. She did not say it since she couldn’t talk but I just knew it. When I close my eyes I can hear the crying of suffering people at the distance. Then as rain to thirsty plant, the image of those two hands holding each other comes to my mind. The hand of the helper is higher. It is helping someone to come out, to stand up, and to feel sureness. I just see the two hands as a representation of the action, the essence of helping others. I no longer hear the crying. I hear the sound of laughter and I find myself laughing out loud. I really believe there is no experience like helping others.
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