The Scott Shaw Blog

Be Positive

You Can’t Help Someone Who Doesn’t Want To Be Helped

You can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. Certainly, I am not the first person to make this statement. And, it’s truth is very obvious. But, for those of us who care, how can we not try to help someone in need?

There are many ways to help someone. Sometimes you try to guide them with words. Sometimes you give them that gift that they want. Sometimes you give them money. And, the list goes on. But, if a person does nothing positive with what you have given them then what was the point?

I believe for each of us people have passed through our life and we can see that they are doing something wrong—something that will affect them negatively in the times to come. We see this, we witness their behavior, and we try to tell them to stop. The problem is; if an individual doesn’t have the desire to hear what we are saying, what we are saying has little meaning.

Here’s the thing, many times people are locked into believing that what they are doing makes them feel good and/or will guide them to be what they want to be. Maybe what they are doing makes them money, gets them friends, makes them famous, or makes them feel that way that they want to feel. From this, no matter what we say, they will not have the ears to hear our words.

Here arises one of the problems, perhaps the biggest problem, with giving people advice and trying to guide them down a better road; what we are saying is all based upon our understanding and our experience. It was what we believe or know to be right. But, what is right for us may not be right for them. Thus, who are we speaking to and why?

Certainly, people who base their life around a religious or militaristic perspective are very dogmatic in what they have to say and the advice they have to give people. They do this because they believe they are being guided by a higher power. But, is their higher power the same power that guides the individual they are speaking to? Maybe not.

I know in my own life I have witnessed people who when they found a New Truth, via some form of spirituality or religion, they wanted everyone else to feel what they felt. Me too. When I was a teenager, I become very involved in teachings that truly offered that Deeper Something. I wanted my friends to take the ride with me. But, most of them had no interest. Was I right or were they wrong? No. But, at the time it was hard for me to see it that way. Just like Lao Tzu stated in the Tao Te Ching, “Three in ten are followers of life, three in ten are followers of death, and three in ten are just passing between life and death.” What does that leave you with? One.

Most help given is not simply based in thought ideology. More commonly, people want to help a person because they see they are walking down a dark road or need to be elevated from a bad situation. Then what? Yes, you can try to help the person but how often are your gestures of help appreciated, listened to, and used to move into a better Life Space and how often are they simply used as a means for a person to simply continue walking down the same road that they were on?

So, what does this tell us? It tells us that, yes, we can try to help people, whenever we see that there is the need. We can do what we can do but we can’t make that person become us—we can’t expect them to see the world as we see it. If they eventually fall prey to their own lifestyle choices, we can feel for them, we can even say, “I told you so,” but we must understand that we can’t help someone/anyone who doesn’t want to be helped.