Friday, 23 February 2007

The helper gene

What is it that makes some of us helpers, problems solvers, fixers? Why can some otherwise good, caring people say no to a request for help, overlook a need, or say "enough" when others begin to detail their problems and challenges, while others of us cannot? I'm not talking about selfish people...I mean people who are able to distinguish between what they can and cannot do without taxing themselves too much.

And most all, who's right?

Is it better, in the grand cosmic scheme of things, to do all you can do to help anyone in need who asks or who comes to your attention? Is that, after all, what we're here for?

Or is it better to consider one's own needs first, and then help as much as one can without being stretched too thin?

One of my personal heroes, Mother Teresa, seemed to take the former route, sacrificing everything to help as many people as she possibly could. I wonder...did she ever say "Enough!", even for just a few minutes? Did she carve out some time just for herself to tend to her own needs?

What makes someone choose one route or another? Is it upbringing? Education? Religious belief? Or is it something much more basic -- a helper gene than opens us to the needs of those around us in a way some of us cannot ignore.

1 comment:

David said...

I was looking up information on something called "helper genes" which are actual genes in our DNA that support the healthy function of reproducing cells correctly. I sort of wish that you would clearify the difference between your thoughts of genes creating people who help more than others and that of the actual "helper genes". I think what you said was interesting but it might confuse people who don't know the difference, that a "helper gene" in your context is different than the actual "helper gene" in the human body that supports cellular growth.