“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do
everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do
interfere with what I can do.” — Edward Everett Hale


A similar sentiment was expressed by William Penn “I expect to
pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or
any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or
neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.” Your best strategy over the
long-haul is to understand where people want to go and help them get there. You
do this by talking with them about what aid and support they need from you and
being sure they get it. It may seem more expedient to charge full-speed-ahead
and others be damned; but being too self-serving ends up, in the long run,
serving no one. Your success is best served by helping others succeed.


The glitch is that, no matter how well-intentioned, your offer
to help is usually turned down or the response is, “I will let you
know.” If you sincerely want to help, do not ask what you can do to help
or wait to be asked. Think about what the person’s problem is or what they want
to accomplish and then do something helpful. Proactively helping is most always
much more helpful than help that is merely offered though it does take a little
more time, a little more thought, and a little more effort. “Did that
help?” is often the best question you can ask. As Sunshine Magazine
pointed out, “He who gives when he is asked has waited too long.”


The famous Anon. had a particularly pithy way of emphasizing the
importance of being proactive with others, “Being good is commendable, but only
when it is combined with doing good is it useful.” Albert Schweitzer and
William James respectively joined the help when you can, wherever you can
chorus. “Wherever a man turns he can find someone who needs him;” and “Act as
if what you do makes a difference. It does.” Perhaps the last word on it should
go to George Bernard Shaw who said, “This is the true joy in life – being used
for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being thoroughly worn out
before you are thrown on the scrap heap; being a force of nature instead of a
feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the
world will not devote itself to making you happy.”