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Helping People by Helping Them

Larry Rankin is among the millions of hardworking denizens of the world disillusioned by the abuses of the ultra-wealthy.

Everyone needs a helping hand from time to time.

Everyone needs a helping hand from time to time.

I’ve never received a penny from welfare, unemployment, or food stamps. For the most part, It hasn't been necessary above the normal programs that we take for granted. When I was fresh out of high school, I did receive about $500 a semester of financial aid for college during my first two years, but that is about the extent of my additional assistance in life from the tax payers.

Besides that, I’ve just used the public stuff that we all use from time to time. I use the road and sidewalk systems we all pay for. I enjoy our National Parks when I get a chance. I once had to call the fire department because I was burning trash and it got away from me a bit. I used the police service once when I heard a domestic dispute getting out of hand in a nearby home. I had my K-12 paid for by the tax payers like most everyone else.

The point is that I’ve probably used less financial assistance than the vast majority of my fellow citizens, yet I fervently support most all aid programs, and when another program comes up, assuming it is based in sound principle, I am usually first in line to support it.

I’m a pragmatist. I know that too many aid programs and aid programs that are poorly thought out can be detrimental. I know they can lead to excessive laziness and fraud, but I also know that if these programs are structured properly, most people who use them will use them for a short time to better their situation and move on. I know that the best way to help someone is by helping them.


Helping vs. Not Helping

I bring up the obvious principle of helping people by helping them because of late the concept of helping people by not helping them has so strongly came into vogue. It has even been suggested that so much as a kind gesture or facial expression directed towards the less fortunate will somehow encourage them to not better their situation.

In the U.S. nothing exceeds like excess. It isn’t that helping people by not helping never works. It does work sometimes, but more often than not, it is better to help people by actually helping them. It is definitely a foolish notion to think you should always help people by not helping them. I’ll give you a few examples. Someone you care about develops a substance abuse problem. Do you immediately discard this person? If you truly care about him or her you don’t. Do you enable this person? No, not if you want him or her to survive, you don’t.

So what do you do? You try to offer as much help as you can for this person to overcome the addiction. The point is, the first thing you do is help, and you continue to help, even if this person slips up, as long as he or she is trying. It isn’t until later and as a last resort that you give up on the person and part ways, and sometimes parting ways, tough love, helping by not helping, is the only way to give the individual a wakeup call, but usually when you do this, they wind up dying on a street corner somewhere.

It isn’t that helping by not helping never works. Sometimes it is the only appropriate alternative, but it is almost always a last resort and not the first one. Let me give another example that is less dire than a drug addiction. This time let’s go with education. You are trying to teach a student how to divide numbers that produce decimals. He or she can’t seem to understand how decimals work. You try several different methods to no avail, so eventually you have to give up on the student for a bit and go to the aid of other students.

When you do this as a teacher, the hope is that at some point between class meetings the concept will click in the student’s head, or they will help themselves by finding another person that might be able to relate the concept to them better. Though you are trying to help by not helping in this scenario, it doesn’t mean you give up on the student entirely. It just means that you have given up until the next class meeting. By then the student may have mastered the concept on his or her own. If not, you try to help again.

The overarching point here is that you help people by helping them far more often than by doing nothing. You see someone stranded with a flat tire. You stop and see if they need help. You see an elderly person, confused and overheated in a parking lot. You stop and help. You see a child, lost and crying. You stop and help. You see a neighbor with a lot of groceries to carry in. You stop and help.

Ways to Help

This isn’t rocket science. It isn’t anything new, yet more and more people are buying into the concept of helping others by not helping them. Why? Because it is convenient in the short term. I know it would greatly simplify my life to just sit back and watch the world burn, but guess what, I know that one of these days I’ll need help, too.

Like everyone else, I don’t know how to do everything, and inevitably I need help from time to time. Let’s say I want to build a patio and I don’t know how. What I need at that point is not somebody to sit back smugly and watch me fail. What I need is help: real, palpable help.

In addition, it’s fun and pleasurable to help people. If you’re anything like me, when you successfully help someone, it gives you a good feeling deep down that is like no other. One of the easiest ways to help is to teach. This doesn’t require a classroom. If you know how to do something, just explain it to someone who doesn’t and needs to know how. Or help them with a project and teach them by example.

Lending is another way to help. A friend or acquaintance needs to use a table saw for a bit. You have a table saw you aren’t currently using. Well, lend it to them. You have a copy of a movie that a friend wants to see. Lend it to them. A friend needs to borrow $100 to get through the month. You have an extra hundred bucks. Lend it to them.

But People Will Take Advantage of You!

I’ve lent things out to people my whole life. I don’t even need one whole hand to count the number of times I’ve been burned. Compared to the companies and corporations that have burned me, individuals are far more trustworthy.

Besides, they only get to burn you once. You’re not out that much, and these things are usually a two-way street. When you need help, you have people to ask. At the end of the day, it’s a better way to live, people helping one another.


Helping with Government Aid

Up to this point, I’ve mainly focused on helping from a personal level, but government aid programs really aren’t any different. When somebody is down on his or her luck they need help. When you need to get from point A to B, unless you own the road system, you need help. Almost every time you walk or drive somewhere, you are using government aid. When you are out at the lake with your family, government aid makes this possible. These things are paid for with tax dollars.

When you send your kids to public school, again, you’re sucking at the teat of government aid. Even if you’re paying for your kids to go to private school, most likely this is facilitated to some degree by a government handout. People just don’t understand that all of us are getting help on some level.

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As things are, you can’t support a family in most parts of the U.S. working a full time job with just a high school degree. More and more, people are working full time and still winding up effectively homeless. These people have tried to help themselves. These people are working hard and doing what they’re supposed to do. It is very likely they are working harder than others who are getting by alright because they have a college degree.

Do you honestly believe we’re doing them a disservice by giving them food stamps so their families can eat? I hear a lot of talk about the American spirit and pulling yourself up by your bootstraps from people who want to do away with all aid programs, but a lot of us can be full of the American spirit and yank on those boot straps just as hard as humanly possible, and without help, still stay right in the gutter.

“Well, these people should have got a post high school degree.” Most people don’t get a post high school degree because they can’t afford one, unless they have help. Like with the examples I gave on the personal level, one of the best ways we can provide aid is education. Not only does education aid help for a person's current circumstances, like food stamps, they also improve a person’s future outlook. In other words, money put into helping people get educated reduces the cost for programs like food stamps, welfare, unemployment, etc., because with the education they will probably be able to make a living wage.

Why do People Believe the Best Way to Help People is by not Helping Them?

When I see all these people trying to do away with the codes of common decency that we have had forever, I can only come to two rational conclusions why they feel this is necessary: 1. They are confused about how things work. 2. They don’t presently have a need for these programs, so they don’t want to pay for them. The first explanation is fairly self-explanatory. The second needs elaboration.

As discussed earlier, as far as cash in my wallet, I have received very little money from the government in my lifetime, but I support financial aid programs because I know they help people in need, and I may find myself having to use one of these programs someday.

I am able to have these feelings about programs I’ve never used because of a condition called empathy. Empathy is the ability to experience the feelings of another as one’s own. Not only do most humans have the capacity to feel empathy, but many animals as well.

I’m not suggesting that people in general have lost the ability to feel empathy, but that they have found a way to circumvent it. By having a lot of people (politicians, wealthy, writers, etc.) tell them that empathy is bad, and because it is convenient and easy to believe in not helping people when you don’t need help yourself, these people have trained their minds to believe that by fighting their basics instincts of common decency, they are actually doing the right thing.

The irony is that the majority of people wanting to do away with government aid programs, unlike myself, have used these programs in the past to get upright. The further irony is that the moment these people find themselves in a bad situation again, they are the one’s howling the loudest for government assistance.


Be nice to one another. Help one another. Share. Did you watch Sesame Street growing up? We should all know this stuff already, yet there’s a big push to do away with all the things that make polite society possible.

We’re Americans! We help one another! It’s part of the social contract! We teach people to fish and while they’re learning, we give them a few fish to survive. We do unto others as we would have them do unto us.


Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on March 07, 2017:

Nadine, you truly have a kind heart.

I think what is so often missed is that while being kind sometimes backfires on us, the lion's share of the time it is a truly rewarding endeavor.

Nadine May from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on March 06, 2017:

Fantastic post Larry, no wonder it was a featured article. For me helping people is to support their passion ( if they know what that is) We have a section of our home that is used by a mother and son who a way homeless. They can just not effort to pay a regular rent. With us they have WiFi and both have created a small income from online work, and the son loves cooking, so they buy the ingredients and cook for us all. Works very well.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on December 02, 2015:

Nithya: glad you enjoyed the read, friend.

Nithya Venkat aka Vellur from Dubai on December 01, 2015:

Great hub, being nice and helping one another make us the better person and this world a great place to live in.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on July 08, 2015:

Bill: I was raised the same way. Not rocket science here. Just the simple things folks do to help one another, they're falling by the wayside.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 08, 2015:

My goodness, this got some attention.

I've never received assistance from the government. Never really been out of work....going on forty-seven years of supporting myself. Having said that, my dead parents would roll in their graves and scream at me if I failed to help others. It was ingrained in me at an early age....Bill, you help people because that's what human beings should do...and I've never forgotten that. :)

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on July 07, 2015:

Frozen Ink: a perfect example of my point. You usually help people by helping them. Helping them by not helping them is the exception not the rule.

Even in the example given, you helped you brother by helping him in so much that you discussed a strategy with him rather than leaving him to figure out the world by himself.

Thanks for dropping by.

frozenink on July 07, 2015:

Nice hub, Larry. It's always nicer to be there for a person until he can do by his own. But I think there can be situations where helping only makes minimal difference or sometimes, worsen the situation.

I was in my final year in primary school (age 12) and my brother has only just entered (age 7). When he's bullied, I can help by warning those kids or scaring them away. But if I keep doing that, my younger brother may just be so reliant on me and be unable to stand up against those bullies by himself. So I talked to him one day, and he agreed that I cannot fight his battles for him. And yes he did stand up against those bullies =)

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on June 12, 2015:

Nadine: it is always best to have a generous heart.

Thanks so much for dropping by.

Nadine May from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on June 12, 2015:

Great hub great message and yes I will always help people who are willing to help themselves. This time it's a young mother and a 15 year old son who we are helping with our internet (wifi) by offering it for free, so the mother can built up her online business. We have given two people shelter and food for over 8 to 9 months until they were back on their feet but I never heard from them again. That has been sad, but then it was meant to be. We are grateful for what we have, so we do not mind sharing.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on December 17, 2014:

Au Fait:

Thanks so much for the insightful comments.

I agree. It's a simple principal, You help people when they need help.

C E Clark from North Texas on December 15, 2014:

There will always be people who take advantage or try to take advantage of any system, food stamps, medicaid, you name it. Why should everyone who needs help be punished because of the few?

It makes as much sense to send traffic tickets to all persons who own red vehicles when one red vehicle is sited for speeding. If we're going to punish all public assistance recipients because one or two have abused the system, then it makes as much sense to ticket all red (or black or white, or whatever) vehicle owners when one or two of them get a traffic ticket for something.

None of us are perfect. We all make mistakes and bad decisions sometimes. Instead of thinking ourselves qualified to judge another person who is down on their luck, we should just do what we can to help and maybe when we're in trouble help will be their for us too.

Everyone isn't the same. We all have different strengths and weaknesses. What is a snap for one person may be very difficult for another. Just because we can do it doesn't mean everyone can or should be able to do it. Without a doubt there are some things for every one of us that we cannot do and are not good at. They may be different things, but regardless, expecting everyone to measure up to our perfect selves is neither logical nor reasonable.

Sharing this again because people need to think these things through and stop worrying about what they are going to get back if they lend a hand. Selfishness and heartlessness abounds in this country right now. That needs to be reversed.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on August 29, 2014:

Thank you for your respectful response. Congratulations on receiving Hub of the Day.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on August 29, 2014:

LindaJM: India is an excellent example of what happens without proper safety nets in place. Yeah, lot's of conglomerates want to do business there, but it isn't out of the kindness of their hearts, it is because they know they can exploit the population for their own personal gains.

Very thoughtful comments. Thanks for dropping by.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on August 29, 2014:

Faith Reaper: Thanks so much for the positive response.

Linda Jo Martin from Klamath River Valley, Northern California on August 28, 2014:

Very compassionate! I too believe in helping when I can. It is bad enough already but if we remove more safety nets this country will start looking like India with families sleeping on city streets.

Joshua Nyamache from Kenya on August 28, 2014:

We are human beings and we always need the support from one another. Helping is one way of showing our love to one another. Without help, a person feels rejected. Voted this hub up!

Faith Reaper from southern USA on August 27, 2014:

I am in agreement with all that you have written here. Congrats on the HOTD, very deserving! Love your drawings too.

This is my kind of hub.

Up ++++ and away


Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on August 27, 2014:

junecampbell: very intelligent comments.

I especially like the part about determining if said person can fish. Our situation very much determines how much help we need. We help because we are humans with humanity and empathy and all these good things that make us human.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on August 27, 2014:

JayeWisdom: Thanks so much for the positive writeup.

Yeah, it is such a hypocrisy when people who need or have needed aid to survive scoff at it when their circumstances change.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on August 27, 2014:

John Sarkis, Thanks for the support.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on August 27, 2014:

DzyMsLizzy: I think everyone who doesn't understand how quickly the world can turn over on you should read your post. It is a perfect example of why we need to help one another.

If you do everything right and work hard, it does not and never has guaranteed success in life. That is why we help.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on August 27, 2014:

Thelma Alberts: You have to be careful, but don't get so jaded that you don't even try.

Loved your comments.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on August 27, 2014:

Nancy Owens: Wonderful comments.

Education is a wonderful way to help people.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on August 27, 2014:

Bluebird: Wonderful comments and thanks for dropping by!

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on August 27, 2014:

Relationshipc: Wonderful comments,

Actually, there are a few of us who have more trouble accepting help than giving it. Silly pride issues.

I couldn't agree with you more on how it feels to help someone. It just feels good. Even just the simplest things: giving directions, helping someone jump there car, helping someone move some stuff, it just feels good.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on August 27, 2014:

ComfortB: Excellent comments,

Some of us get a bad shake, some of us get a fair shake, and some of us get a more than fair shake. If you are lucky enough to never need help, that doesn't mean that others don't.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on August 27, 2014:


You, my friend, understand how it is supposed to work. Wonderful comments.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on August 27, 2014:

FlourishAnyway: I just want to say thank you for all your support, not just on this article, but everything. Next I want to apologize to you and everyone else who has been so helpful, I haven't been paying it forward lately the way I like to. It isn't because I don't want to, but because I have very limited internet access for the short-term.

Thanks again

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on August 27, 2014:

Penny G: thanks for the comments,

Yeah, helping one another doesn't have to be a big deal. When you see someone struggling, help. It's straightforward, even instinctual for most of us.

On the no glory part, that's really important. So many people go into it saying, well, how do I capitalize on having helped this person. Not the point! Just help and life will be better for everyone.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on August 27, 2014:

PegCole: Very thought provoking thoughts,

I agree with the first half of your comments. The church systems do a really good job of providing aid for communities and we should help one another. We should offer help to our neighbors.

But I also respectfully disagree with your ideas on the government's role in aid. We need some of that to distribute the aid. Some aid projects are massive as is simply the distribution of aid. Things like government sponsored education systems and fire departments, etc, are necessary.

June Campbell from North Vancouver, BC, Canada on August 27, 2014:

I totally support your philosophy. There are many definitions of "help", but help in the genuine sense of the word, as I see it anyway, means helping others overcome whatever challenge they may be facing, in such a way that they are stronger at the end rather than weaker. The old saw about "teaching a man to fish" is true, but we have to ensure the man is capable of learning how to fish before we judge him (or her) harshly for not fishing the way we think he should, and we also must remember that our own success, if we have any, is influenced by many factors beyond our control -- the country we were born in, the family that raised us, the genetic conditions we may have been born with, age, etc.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on August 27, 2014:

SusanDeppner: Thanks so much for the comment,

One of the hardest things for me is not helping but accepting help. It's humbling, like you said. But when we need help, we have to put our pride to the side and allow people to help us. We'll get our chance to pay it forward.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on August 27, 2014:

Iris Draak: Thanks so much for the comment and good advice.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on August 27, 2014:

DealForALiving: Thanks for the comments,

I've been burned my fair share as well, but it seems to me that if we look at things objectively, the majority of people at least pay it forward, and it is just that we tend to remember being taken advantage of more vividly.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on August 27, 2014:

Thanks for the feedback.

The drawings are a product of necessity and not skill. I do the best I can and appreciate the positive comment:)

Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on August 27, 2014:

Thank you so much, Larry, for writing and publishing this essay on HP! I'm right there with you, pal--agree 100%. I'm just dismayed that far too many people believe that people in need should be kicked to the curb.

What has happened to the empathy...the this country? It isn't only the ultra wealthy who don't care about those who are down-and-out, but also people who may have experienced some rough times in their own lives (but seem to have forgotten how it felt and also don't recall getting a let up to recover).

Voted Up++++ Very deserving of HOTD


John Sarkis from Winter Haven, FL on August 27, 2014:

Controversial and unusual article; I like it! Voted up "interesting!" Also, congrats on winning HOTD

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on August 27, 2014:

Congrats on HOTD! Well put.

Many people do find themselves in a down-and-out situation from time to time and need help.

The problem you point out with people working very hard and still not having enough to feed their families is all too common these days. Sadly, the food stamps they get are unlikely to be a temporary situation. They may need that assistance for many years, until the last child leaves the nest.

I can also vouch on a personal level that this kind of aid is also necessary on a long-term basis for many senior citizens. Our savings were all eaten up in the three years it took for my husband's disability to be approved. Once we started getting those checks, it helped, a little. However, our mortgage also kept creeping up, up, up, leaving us no money to pay the tax bill. Had it not been for President Obama forcing these predatory mortgage outfits to work with homeowners, and getting a mortgage modification, we might be homeless right now, and with my husband's current further deteriorated health, that would have been a death sentence for him. We were bad enough off that I was forced to apply for early Social Security, meaning I get a permanently reduced amount. I cannot work outside the home as I am my husband's sole caregiver. For me to get a job and hire outside help, well, the math just doesn't work. I wouldn't be able to bring in more than the help would cost, so pointless in the end.

Food stamps are not the great cash cow many imagine them to be. We are granted a whole $52 a month. Just try to live on that. More to the point, try to buy the HEART-HEALTHY food my husband's health requires on that--it just doesn't happen. They tell you, "Well, it's only a supplement--it's not supposed to buy ALL your groceries." Yeah, right. Well, at the current prices of food, that doesn't buy much at all. The rest must come out of our pockets, and slim pockets they are. His health is not improving; we are not youngsters, and this situation is quite likely permanent, not temporary.

Yes, we spend some of our limited funds on internet access and cable TV, (at the most basic level), because he is housebound, and it is the ONLY entertainment he has to keep him from going totally stir crazy. He's not the kind of person who wants to sit around doing nothing. He'd like nothing better than to be able to go back to work--he was always a go-getter. But it is not looking likely.

But it is all soooo frustrating. The forms you have to fill out, and RE-fill every couple of years really put you through the third degree, and make you feel as if they have already decided you are a fraudster, and must be found out before you get one iota of aid.

I'm not saying there is never any fraud; I'm sure there is. But it is not so rampant as people think.

**end rant**

Voted up, interesting, and useful.

Thelma Alberts from Germany on August 27, 2014:

Congrats on the HOTD! This is a thought provoking but great hub. I tried to help every person who needs my help but I am watchful too not to be used. Thanks for sharing.

Nancy Owens from USA on August 27, 2014:

I love the drawings here! You write eloquently about a difficult subject. Helping our neighbors personally can be a life-enriching experience, but you are right that we have to watch out so we are not taken advantage of. And help is not necessarily giving someone something. Like the patio example, what people need sometimes is someone to help them accomplish a task but not do it for them. Big difference. Voted up and shared.

bluebird on August 27, 2014:

Beautiful subject and hub. Good job, liked all your points and the pictures were cute yet effective! It brought home well the point that it really is simple, the giving way. I like to think how much better this world could be if everyone practiced this important principle a little more. America of old is a good picture of Joseph and how he helped his father and brothers survive. Americans have it in them to become great...through giving!

Kari on August 27, 2014:

I cant imagine anyone would choose, "When someone ignores you and watches you struggle," in your opinion poll. We all know how good it feels to be helped, but we often forget how good it feels to help others.

Love your drawings by the way. Awesome idea!

Comfort Babatola from Bonaire, GA, USA on August 27, 2014:

Our helping others shouldn't be based on whether we've received help ourselves. If we are blessed with much more than we need, then we need to help others.

Congrats on your HOTD award!

CarlajBehr on August 27, 2014:

Congrats on HOTD! It's funny - this week I've been in a jam and those closest to me have shared advice, a car and made phone calls on my behalf. I needed it! I put my baby into college, my job has been crazy and there have been other things on the camel's back. Turn about is fair play with helping! This is philosophy in life I have tried to instill in my children.

FlourishAnyway from USA on August 27, 2014:

I'm back to say congratulations on HOTD!

Penny Godfirnon from Southern Iowa on August 27, 2014:

Wow you took the words right out of my mouth! I have shared such information with unreceptive individuals for sometime now. Give a little help take a little help. It's kind of like the Penny dish at the stores and gas stations now days. It's just there no big deal. Helping shouldn't be a big deal, no glory neede in return. See a need, help. Need a little help take only what you need. It such a great system until you get people who over think it, put way too much attention on it. Just do it!

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on August 27, 2014:

Years ago, when more people went to church, they could turn to their church family in times of need and to well established charities. We are commanded to help others. Teaching people to be self sufficient need not be through neglect or distain. It can be accomplished by teaching skills that will carry us past the difficulties faced on a daily basis, those of providing food and shelter for ourselves and our families. Teaching life skills can turn lives around through education.

When you loan out your table saw, you do not saw the board for the person; you might teach them how to use the saw so that they will learn for themselves and handle the job on their own the next time.

"James Madison, the chief architect of the U.S. Constitution, was seeking an institutional design to limit the powers of government and protect individual rights. People would then be free to pursue their happiness and, in the process, create wealth," says James A. Dorn, Vice President for Academic Affairs at the Cato Institute and Professor of Economics." Madison argued that "Persons and property are the two great subjects on which Governments are to act; and that the rights of persons and the rights of property are the objects for the protection of which Government was instituted. Madison’s constitutional republic was to be one of limited powers under a rule of law, rather than an intrusive state aimed at redistributing income and wealth via the democratic process."

Helping the poor is our job as a compassionate people rather than the role of government.

Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on August 27, 2014:

Lots to think about here. We've been on the receiving end of help from friends and strangers alike (after our house fire) and it's a very humbling place to be. Congratulations on your HOTD honors today!

Cristen Iris from Boise, Idaho on August 27, 2014:

Congratulations on your HOTD accolade. That is fantastic and well deserved. I would add that our willingness to offer and support offers of aid reflect more on us and less on the person who is in need. Err on the side of compassion and human dignity. Voted "up"!

Nick Deal from Earth on August 27, 2014:

Reading this really made me feel your generosity in general, and I have a lot of respect for people that help others. I've been burned more than a few times in the past, but I still try to give when I can.

Marcelle Bell on August 27, 2014:

Congrats on HOTD! I love your message here about helping others. The drawings are great too.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on July 21, 2014:

FlourishAnyway: Thanks so much for the response. Sorry I've been MIA the last several days.

FlourishAnyway from USA on July 16, 2014:

I like your point about public schools. We also share common services such as roads that help us get from point A to point B and police and fire protection services. At some point tough love just dissolves into mean-spiritedness.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on July 14, 2014:


Thanks so much for the comments. You know, it seems so basic that we would help one another, and the concept of the article might seem to some almost laughable, but there really is a growing contingent in our society preaching the supreme morality of selfishness. People need to be reminded what society really is, helping one another when you can.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on July 14, 2014:

It's a balancing act. Some tough love is always necessary from time to time, but absolute selfishness, in the end, helps no one.

Thanks so much for the insight.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on July 14, 2014:

Thanks so much for dropping by and the encouraging comments.

RTalloni on July 12, 2014:

This topic has so many facets because people in need and their circumstances are so varied. It is always interesting to see how people are viewing the issues. I'm thankful to live in a country where people not only reach out to fellow citizens but to people in other countries. For all our imperfections, the US has led the world in foreign aid

even as its people continue to try to reach out to their own who are in need.

As people embrace opportunities to better their situations, such as ,

they are seeing make-your-day successes that their friends and family can learn from and then share how they achieved their own goals with even more people. Imagining what could happen in a country of people who are willing to sacrifice a short time to put their lives in order and work toward goals that will truly help them and their families provides lots of food for thought.

(I like your opening picture and caption very much because it is true!)

AnimalWrites from Planet Earth on July 12, 2014:

Very interesting hub and agree with many of your points. We can't really call ourselves civilised if we are happy to live in wealthy countries where there are children with not enough food, elderly people too scared to put their heating on and inadequate healthcare. Even if we don't need help now, we never know when the rug will be pulled and we will need support.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on July 12, 2014:

Very inspiring hub. I love this hub and I hope many people will read this. Thanks for writing and sharing with us. Voted up!


Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on July 12, 2014:

Thanks for the positive feedback and thank you for dropping by.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on July 11, 2014:

This is a wonderful hub, Larry. I love all the points that you've made! Your ideas make so much sense and are so important . (I love your drawings, too!) I'll share this hub.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on July 08, 2014:

You can't help anyone that doesn't want to be helped, and young people often have to make their own mistakes, sometimes several times, before they'll listen. If you can impart advice to people after they've made a mistake without seeming like you're saying I told you so, it can often be effective.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

missirupp on July 08, 2014:

This article is perfect for me right now. I'm in a quagmire with my 22 year old son. Trying to help but not knowing how much help is too much or not enough. It's tough. Thanks for this.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on July 08, 2014:

Billybuc: Thanks for the comment. I understand why people argue about 'how much' we should help one another. I don't understand those who believe we should do away with helping one another all together. I don't understand coveting selfishness as a higher moral code. I don't see the point in trying to develop new forms of society that do away with the 'society part' of things.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 07, 2014:

I don't want to live in a country where those in need are ignored. Love the message here, Larry!

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