Author Topic: When I help others, is it at my expenses?  (Read 19804 times)

hope rainbow

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When I help others, is it at my expenses?
« on: October 14, 2011, 07:48:12 AM »
When I help a friend financially, I have less money for me, right?
When I help a colleague at work, I compromise my own efficiency, right?
When I give some of my time to help a charity, I lose some of my leisure time, right?
When I have to take my neighbour to the hospital in the middle of the night, I loose my sleeping time, right?
When I lend my car to somebody, I have no car!

It seems as if helping others is always at my expenses, I always have to give something up!

kurava

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Re: When I help others, is it at my expenses?
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2011, 03:49:37 AM »
As long as we make a distinction between "others" and "I", we will definitely have those feelings that HR mentioned. To overcome this concept of "others" and "I" , Buddha gave 84,000 teachings.

The Gelug lineage is very fortunate to have the Lamrim , which is a condensation of all the 84,000 teachings.

For me personally, one way that can help over come this attachment to "I", "My" , "Mine"  or attachment to my comforts is to reflect :

Would I be truly happy if I just sit by and not lift a finger to help the people around me that are in trouble and need help ?

In the beginning, we "sacrificed" a little bit of our money & time to help others. Slowly, we increase our capacity . It is really a process to re-habituate our natural selfish tendency. If we combine this process with spiritual practice , our progress would be faster and more joyful.


hope rainbow

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Re: When I help others, is it at my expenses?
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2011, 08:12:30 AM »
Thank you Kurava.  :)
This attachment to "I", "My" , "Mine" is very strong though, what do you find most helpful to overcome these attachments when one becomes challenged to let go of them?
This challenge is a breaking point for some and a step-up for others, what do you think make people react differently then?

DSFriend

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Re: When I help others, is it at my expenses?
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2011, 03:48:59 PM »
Precise observation and nobody can debate what you have pointed out. That's how the majority live their lives.

Well, what i learnt in Buddhism which offers me a different perspective is that all that we have comes from someone else to start with. We haver received so much more in our countless lifetimes and have not remembered what help and teachings we have received which has brought about the conditions we have in this very lifetime. In this very lifetime, we were born totally helpless and our family has helped protected us from harm and nurtured us well. Thanks to mom who has fed and cleaned us but, unfortunately we have no recollection at all.

Even the food we eat daily, though we may have just paid $6.99 or what not with our "hard earned money",... just thinking about the many people involved in growing the crops, harvesting it, transporting it, preparing it, packing it, making it available at the grocery stores/restaurants, cooking it, serving it... gosh... Perhaps it's about them earning money at each step of the way too, but I am sure along the way, many have given something more than what money can ever compensate them with. Thanks to the many involved in all the conveniences we enjoy, but unfortunately, we have no awareness of what went into $6.99.

The $6.99 is not just a packet of food, but a fraction of someone's life went into it, someone's talent, someone's effort,...etc.

This view of remembering the kindness of all sentient beings, has helped me to see a little wider and a little deeper, that what I have and able to give is due to countless who may directly or indirectly given to me to begin with.

Therefore, when opportunity arise for us to "give", in actuality, we do not loose anything,.. but only right to repay kindnesses. Easier said than done, .... but hey, that's why we are still called practitioners and not masters :)

cheers

When I help a friend financially, I have less money for me, right?
When I help a colleague at work, I compromise my own efficiency, right?
When I give some of my time to help a charity, I lose some of my leisure time, right?
When I have to take my neighbour to the hospital in the middle of the night, I loose my sleeping time, right?
When I lend my car to somebody, I have no car!

It seems as if helping others is always at my expenses, I always have to give something up!
« Last Edit: October 23, 2011, 03:51:20 PM by DSFriend »

hope rainbow

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Re: When I help others, is it at my expenses?
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2011, 07:30:11 AM »
Well, what I learnt in Buddhism which offers me a different perspective is that all that we have comes from someone else to start with.

Wow, that says it all.
DSFriend, that is well explained.
Thank's a lot!
I'll try not to forget this.

pgdharma

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Re: When I help others, is it at my expenses?
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2011, 01:50:54 PM »
When we helped others, it is not at our expense but a chance for us to repay the kindness of others who have helped us in one way or another either in this life or in previous lives. When we contemplate that all beings for many countless lifetimes have been other mothers in the past, anyone we helped in this lifetime could be our mother in the previous life who had nurture and protect us from harm. Even in this lifetime, everything we need come from someone who had put in their time and effort to cater to our needs. So if we have the opportunity to help others, just do it. It is better to give than to receive.

Galen

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Re: When I help others, is it at my expenses?
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2011, 04:41:58 PM »
When I help a friend financially, I have less money for me, right?
When I help a colleague at work, I compromise my own efficiency, right?
When I give some of my time to help a charity, I lose some of my leisure time, right?
When I have to take my neighbour to the hospital in the middle of the night, I loose my sleeping time, right?
When I lend my car to somebody, I have no car!

It seems as if helping others is always at my expenses, I always have to give something up!

When you put the questions in this way, it is right that by helping others, it is at your expense.
You can look at it this way.
When I help a friend financially, I am making a friend's ends meet. And it makes me feel good.
When I help a colleague at work, we work together to get things done for the company.
When I give some of my time to help a charity, I am using my time fruitfully instead on wasting time on useless entertainment.
When I have to take my neighbour to the hospital in the middle of the night, I am saving his life. And human life is precious.
When I lend my car to somebody, I am helping someone in an emergency.

No doubt you are giving something up, but is there something you gain from it also which can't be measured? How do you feel after that?


dondrup

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Re: When I help others, is it at my expenses?
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2011, 03:40:42 AM »

It seems as if helping others is always at my expenses, I always have to give something up!

Our self-grasping mind places extreme importance to our “I” that does not exist inherently. We have also nurtured this “I” since begin-less time.  As a consequence, we have become very selfish.  Yes, at the outset our mind thinks that when we help others, we deprive ourselves of the advantage, benefit, time etc. that are lost or sacrificed while we help others.
 
As mentioned above, countless sentient beings have benefited us in countless ways since begin-less time. There is no one sentient being who has not benefited us in one way or another in the past. There is going to be many other sentient beings that will be benefitting us in the future.
 
When we help others now, others will help us later.  When we practise generosity or giving now, we will definitely receive inner and outer wealth in the future.  We are only one person whereas others are countless.  If we help others, we will accumulate vast amount of merits as compared to helping merely ourselves which bring no us no merits at all.  When we help others it is always not at our expense, in fact it is helping us to give up our self-cherishing mind - the cause of our sufferings!
 
Hence we should strive to always think of and benefiting others.  As benefiting others is the cause of future happiness whereas benefiting ourselves is the cause of further sufferings. If we want to become enlightened, the only way is to benefit others because only through benefiting others could we gain vast amount of merits which are required for Enlightenment.

hope rainbow

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Re: When I help others, is it at my expenses?
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2011, 07:13:42 AM »
We are only one person whereas others are countless. 
If we help others, we will accumulate vast amount of merits as compared to helping merely ourselves which bring no merits at all.

This sounds logical!
Thank you Dondrup

Reena Searl

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Re: When I help others, is it at my expenses?
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2011, 06:14:56 PM »
"In the beginning, we "sacrificed" a little bit of our money & time to help others. Slowly, we increase our capacity . It is really a process to re-habituate our natural selfish tendency. If we combine this process with spiritual practice , our progress would be faster and more joyful."

Thanks Kurava ! I totally agreed with you, before I met dharma, I use to operate from "ME" "I" & "MINE" system, everything can react in a very calculative and selfish way. Nowadays, when I help others I slowly experience the change in my thoughts, I do not really feel the act is at my expenses.

Gypsy

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Re: When I help others, is it at my expenses?
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2011, 03:43:39 PM »
Me, myself and I... We always indulge in ourselves, be it work or personal. Since young we were sort of taught "you have to help yourself first before u help others, love yourself etc..". Therefore we were cultivated a kinda selfish mind that reflects on our actions.

Often we need to make choice. Look over the choices you made. Perhaps you choose to do some charity work during your free time instead of going out to chill, because you choose to do it over the alternatives, you value it and you want to help others..while most of the people would choose to go out have fun with friends rather than doing something good for others. This is all about personal values and perceptions. The decisions they make reflect these values and perceptions. Selfish and selfless, are determined by how much you want to get rid of your self-cherishing mind.

Next time when people say "I want to help you", it can be either by helping you they are actually helping themselves, or either they really want to help you, sincerely and never expect anything in return. It is the motivation that is important.

vajraD

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Re: When I help others, is it at my expenses?
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2012, 06:14:30 PM »

Indulging my self  is like pure selfishness. Everything is me,me, me… Being a Buddhist it help us to understand that we should change and operates differently from how we were before so that we can become better than usual. Helping people in my own capability is the best return.

KhedrubGyatso

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Re: When I help others, is it at my expenses?
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2012, 04:00:43 AM »
Dear HR,
You are absolutely right. Helping others is about giving up things we like . But what are our expenses? All the objects that give rise to our attachment . When we start to get less obsessed about  ourselves and our  collection of objects such as money , jewellery , possessions, reputation  etc we receive opportunity to experience directly that we are better off without them.With material things,I am not refering to giving up necessities or essentials but surplus things acquired due to our over indulgence and greed. In the process we gain wisdom realizing that external possessions  are not causes of true happiness even though they can bring some excitement initially.
With regard to our self centred views and thoughts , we gain a most beautiful  mind that is free from worldly concerns which allow us to experience the freedom to be able to love all, to cherish all and to be most useful to others. It is the bestest deal and bestest ROI  in the whole known universe !

Positive Change

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Re: When I help others, is it at my expenses?
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2012, 08:03:46 AM »
The very statement sounds contradictory however the general view of most is precisely that! For me personally, if one is truly giving one does not even contemplate a loss of any sort. It is actually a gain. A gain in friendship, a gain in trust, a gain in love... etc.

When we give we tend to expect something back.. that is out downfall. When we do so, and the expectation is not met (which is probably most of the time especially when we throw expectations on something or someone) we get discouraged and unhappy.

It reminds me of a teaching that was related to me by one of my Dharma sisters in that during an audience with a teacher, one of the students had prepared an elaborate and expensive offering and was very eager to present it to the teacher. There were a few people in the audience and they were all lining up to present their respective gifts.

After this particular student presented his gift he went to the side and watched in "horror" as the teacher promptly "gave away" his gift to the next person in line. That particular student was horrified and visibly upset. This is a very clear example of how when we give we expect something back.

But little do we realise.... the moment we give, whatever has been given DOES NOT belong to us anymore and is the prerogative of the receiver to do as he or she pleases. That I thought was a great lesson in giving, humility and letting go!

valeriecheung

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Re: When I help others, is it at my expenses?
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2012, 01:04:01 PM »
This is interesting statement "helping others at own expenses". From the point of logical i totally agreed this is consider expenses. Very simple calculation if you make donation by withdrawing your own pocket money, this is expenses.

But Lets don't say big words like help others due to your compassion, practicing dharma or gain tremendously merits in order to benefits all sentient beings. For my point of view, if i help others because i can't take it. I can't take it seeing some one in front of me very suffering,sick,old and poor,homeless or etc, and i just need to give away some money to help them and effect change immediately. I immediately willing and choose to help. I always believe all human beings got kind heart deeply inside.