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Ramon Thomas

Managing Director, NETucation

TEDCRED 50+

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What are the alternatives to helping other people?

In my quest for success I've studied self help, psychology and biographies of people who have achieved great things. I recently asked a disabled friend this question and I was not totally satisfied with her answer. She spends most of her time raising funds for charities online.

I am not satisfied with my progress for various reasons. Given that most of the advice I've received is help others to be successful or helping others will make you happy.

My question to you is this: how else can I live my life and achieve some of my personal goals (increase my income, improve my relationship with my family, have a good romantic relationship with a woman, etc) without focusing on "helping others" mantra?

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    Apr 15 2014: Honestly, one definitely can live their life and achieve one's personal goals while never losing sight of the "helping others" mantra. In fact, it is oftentimes overlooked, but just by being involved in someone's life, one might be directly or indirectly "helping." In other words, one does not need to be a philanthropist or dedicate their life towards ending poverty, world hunger, or other horrible atrocities in order to truly help others. Sometimes simply being involved in someone's life is all that is needed.

    Of course I am not trying to downplay the sacrifices that many individuals have made in regards to philanthropy, science, education, and technology. However, one can "help others" by simply being involved in someone else's life. I myself would be lost without my friends and family.
    • Apr 16 2014: Michael,

      Even-though I actually agree with that you said I consider that an alternative to helping other mantra can involve a questioning them. If you allow it I would like to ask you a question here that has to do with what you said. My question may put you on the spotlight so let me know if its ok to ask it…
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        Apr 16 2014: Esteban, you are more than welcome to ask me questions, even if it means potentially putting me in the spotlight. In fact, I really enjoy discussing these matters as I myself hold value in the "helping others" mantra.
    • Apr 16 2014: Michael,

      Thank you. My question is why choose to focus the on the topic explicitly excluded from the conversation?

      Ramon basically asked:
      "What are the alternatives to helping other people … without focusing on "helping others" mantra?

      I realize that you hold and value a certain topic, I too hold and value it… the thing is that for this conversation that topic disregards the rules of engagement and shifts the topic from what is being asked to something else!

      In a curious way our interaction here can demonstrate and be a way for you to help me figure something out by focusing on explaining something you did! I realize that this puts you and what you did in the spotlight and you will likely seek to justify why it is indeed appropriate to make the case B rather than just focus on case A. My intent here is sort of to jointly figure something out and in the process provide Ramon and others an alternative directly related to the question put forth.

      At this moment I wonder how this will turn out and how it will play out… I just consider its vital that we engage in this dialogue a bit more… let me know what you consider especially if you consider as givens what I just mentioned. In other words for the time being let's stay clear of getting into an interchange of whether it is or it isn't this and that and focus on considering this and that the what follows be…
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        Apr 17 2014: Esteban, thank you for pointing out the error in what I perceived the original question/discussion to be. What I intended to originally point out is that one is "helping others" simply by playing a role in their lives. Essentially, one does not need to dedicate their life towards being truly altruistic and philanthropic (i.e. actively ascribe to the "helping others" mantra) in order to make a difference and truly "help" someone.

        Basically, in my opinion, the "alternatives to helping other people" is to simply be a part of their lives. One can both live their own life yet still make a difference in other people's lives, even if one doesn't actively ascribe to the "helping others" mantra.
    • Apr 17 2014: Michael,

      I commend you and your action. Thanks for demonstrating here what each ought to do.

      Indeed one is "helping others" simply by playing a role in 'their' lives. Essentially, one does and dedicates their life towards being and that make a difference and truly "help" someone. As I was composing this I was thinking about how some individuals help us be better and some individuals help us be something else… ultimately we each determine and decide how the individual's help will help us, though that doesn't change the fact that some individuals invite us to be better and some individuals invites us to be something else.

      Indeed --One can both live their own life while still making a difference in other people's lives, even if one doesn't actively ascribe to the "helping others" mantra-- . I think the key is what kind of a difference in other peoples lives one induces by what one does and the examples one gives.

      Again I commend you and your action, it should serve as an example to whomever reads these interactions to wonder and ponder about many things.

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