Why is it important to help others?


Helpfulness is willingness to help others. Helpfulness is an inner attitude: You feel love and compassion for others and want to be helpful to others. Helpfulness is an important quality for spiritual aspirants:

Look for opportunities to help others. Through willingness to help one grows in attention and also learns to get away from self-centeredness, egoism. In a time when self-centeredness and narcissism are growing so strongly, the cultivation of natural helpfulness is particularly important.

Helpfulness - a virtue. What is helpfulness? Where does the word come from? What is helpfulness good for? What are their limits? How can you cultivate it? What is the opposite of helpfulness?

Willingness to help as a helpful virtue

Excerpt from a lecture by Sukadev Bretz

Helpfulness is an important quality to cultivate. Man has a deep desire to do good. People feel happiest when they have the feeling that they have done someone good. People are happy when they notice: "Yes, I can do something good."

Ultimately, there are several factors that make people happier. One factor is when he feels, "Yes, I can do something good for others." Another factor is when he feels, "I can cultivate, develop and live my own powers and abilities." And a third factor is certainly: "I am connected to something higher, my life has a higher meaning."

These three things, the sense of doing something good and developing one's abilities, are all connected and of course they also belong to the spiritual path. I am a yoga teacher, meditation teacher and of course I am also interested in helping people to learn a little more about the spiritual path and to walk it.

Helpfulness is important for this. The spiritual path is also about overcoming your ego. Or, "overcome" might sound a bit massive, but in any case to expand the boundaries of the ego. Whoever only does something for himself will not be happy. But anyone who thinks "what can I do for others" will always be happier.

There are several forms of helpfulness. One expression would be to say: "May I be a good force in the life of all people with whom I have anything to do with." As far as possible, with the necessary humility. You can make yourself: "Whoever I meet, I want to be a little help to him." A more humble approach would be to do one good deed every day.

What can helpfulness mean? It can mean when you leave your apartment in the morning, when you see someone on the street, you smile at them, you nod at them when you see someone who is obviously a little disoriented, you see if you can help them and ask: "Where do you want to go?" If you're at the health food store and someone is obviously looking for something, you can kindly ask, "Can I help you?" Even if you are not employed there.

Say you're going back by train or subway, you can smile there too. If you drive a car, you can occasionally think about giving someone else the right of way, giving someone the parking space that you just wanted to park in. If you are on a bus and the bus is full, you can give the space to someone else, etc.

So, willingness to help is the inner attitude: "May I be of help to others." And this willingness to help, which in turn helps you to be fine. Of course, everything has its limits, if you always help without taking care of yourself, you don't have much left to give.

Lakshmi is also a symbol of helpfulness. Lakshmi is the Indian goddess of generosity, helpfulness, service, helping, and also beauty. And she has two hands that point forward as a blessing and two hands that point upward. That means, she receives with her hands up, she passes on with her hands up and down.

It's similar, if you want to be helpful, that means you have to make sure that you get something. Not like a grocer who always wants something in return for what they give. That is not what is meant by it; on the contrary, willingness to help means always being ready to help.

That doesn't mean that you want something in return from others, but it does mean that you take care of yourself, that you can give something. That you can give something because you have energy, that you can give something because you are in a good mood, that you can give something because you also know something.

So there are many people who do a yoga teacher training out of a willingness to help. They know from their own experience that it is good to practice yoga, it is good to learn relaxation techniques, it is good to strengthen the back muscles. And with yoga you can increase your prana, your life energy.

If you notice, "Yes, that is so good for me", then you also want to think: "It would be great if others would benefit too." And then you do a yoga teacher training course. Not to have a better job afterwards and not just to learn more about yoga, but to do a yoga teacher training out of willingness to help.

You also want to help other people to experience what you have experienced yourself. Think a little more about helpfulness yourself. Cultivating helpfulness is an easy way to be happier too, an easy way to feel love, an easy way to feel joy, and ultimately a way to experience God.

Helpfulness and other virtues

Over 1000 virtues and spiritual qualities are described in this Yoga Wiki. Here are some explanations of how the quality of helpfulness can be seen in relation to other virtues and spiritual qualities, as well as in relation to vice:

Similar characteristics to helpfulness

Similar characteristics like willingness to help, i.e. synonyms for willingness to help, are e.g. goodness, benevolence, generosity, altuism, selflessness, altruism, willingness to make sacrifices.

Balancing properties

Any quality, any virtue that is exaggerated becomes a vice, a vice, an unhelpful quality. An excessive willingness to help can degenerate into helper syndrome, for example. Therefore, willingness to help as an opposite pole needs the cultivation of independence, discipline, justice.

Opposite of helpfulness

There is an opposite to every property. Here are possibilities for the opposite of helpfulness, antonym to helpfulness:

Willingness to help in the context of virtue groups, personality factors and temperaments

  • Willingness to help belongs to virtue group 3 love, affection, helpfulness, empathy, generosity. The main virtues of this virtue group are love and empathy
  • In the context of the Big Five's personality model, helpfulness is one of the personality factor A1, high tolerance: cooperative, loving, friendly, compassionate
  • In the DISG personality model, helpfulness is part of the basic behavioral tendency S - steadiness, compassion, ability to work in a team
  • In Ayurveda, helpfulness is counted as part of the Kapha-Vata-Pitta temperament or Dosha.

Developing helpfulness

Helpfulness can be seen as a virtue, as a positive quality. Maybe you want to let your willingness to help grow stronger. Here are a few tips:

  • Make a resolution to cultivate this helpful quality for a week. You cannot develop several virtues at once. But it is possible to grow a virtue, a quality, every week.
  • Make up your mind, "During the next week, I want to cultivate the virtue, the quality of helpfulness, grow it, make it stronger. I look forward to being a more helpful person in a week."
  • Make a goal of doing at least one action each day that expresses helpfulness. Do something every day that you would not otherwise do but that expresses that virtue.
  • When you wake up in the morning, say an affirmation, for example, "I'm becoming helpful". You can find more options for affirmations below
  • During the day, repeat such an affirmation over and over again:
  • I am helpful.

Affirmations on the topic of helpfulness

There are different ways to use affirmations for more helpfulness. You can find out more about this under the heading "Affirmation" and "Miracle Affirmations".

Classic auto-suggestion for helpfulness

Here is the classic autosuggestion:

In yoga, this is often combined with a mantra. Because a mantra makes the affirmation stronger:

  • I am helpful. Om Om Om.
  • I am a helpful one, a helpful one.

Developmental affirmation for helpfulness

Some people feel like hypocrites or hypocrites when they say "I am helpful" - and they are not at all. Then a development-related affirmation helps:

  • I develop a willingness to help.
  • I will be helpful.
  • Every day I become more helpful.
  • By the grace of God, I become more helpful every day.

Thank you affirmation for helpfulness

  • Thank you for getting more helpful every day.

Wonder affirmations helpfulness

You can also try the following affirmations, which Sukadev Volker Bretz calls miracle affirmations:

  • So far I'm not very helpful. And that is quite understandable, I have good reasons for it. But soon I will develop a willingness to help. Every day this virtue will grow stronger in me.
  • I look forward to being very helpful soon.
  • I am someone who is helpful.

Prayer for helpfulness

Prayer is also a powerful means of cultivating a virtue. Here are a few ways to pray for more helpfulness:

  • Dear God, please give me more helpfulness.
  • Oh god i adore you I ask you that I will become a helpful person.
  • Dear Divine Mother, I thank you. I thank you for expressing the virtue of helpfulness more and more every day.

What would I have to do to develop helpfulness?

You can also ask yourself:

  • What would I have to do to develop helpfulness?
  • How could I be helpful?
  • Dear God, please show me the way to be more helpful.
  • Assuming I want to be helpful, how would I do that?
  • Assuming I was helpful, how would that make itself felt?
  • Assuming a miracle happened and I cultivated helpfulness tomorrow, what would have changed? How would i feel How would i think How would i act? As a helpful person, how would I react, communicate with others?

Lecture recording on willingness to help - audio to listen to

Here you can listen to a lecture by Sukadev Bretz, founder of Yoga Vidya. This talk is the audio version of a helpfulness video, part of the Yoga Vidya Multimedia Lexicon of Virtues.

See also

Characteristics in the alphabet before helpfulness

Characteristics in the alphabet according to willingness to help


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