A candle loses nothing
by lighting another candle.

Erin Majors


Often we can help each other most by leaving each other alone; at other times we need the hand-grasp and the word of cheer.

Elbert Hubbard


If you really want to help, then help others to be more present.  Help others to free themselves from the past.  Help others to take responsibility for themselves.  Help them to see how they are creating their own suffering.  Every now and then, you will encounter innocent ones who are suffering through no fault of their own, particularly animals and children.  Do not hesitate!  Help them.

Leonard Jacobson
The service we render others is the rent we pay for our room on earth.

Wilfred Grenfell

It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no person can sincerely try to help another without helping him or herself.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
The human being who lives only for him or herself finally reaps nothing but unhappiness.  Selfishness corrodes. Unselfishness ennobles, satisfies.  Don't put off the joy derivable from doing helpful, kindly things for others.

B.C. Forbes

Time and money spent in helping people to do more
for themselves is far better than mere giving.

Henry  Ford


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I know some good marriages--marriages where both people
are just trying to get through their days by helping each other,
being good to each other.

Erica Jong


People who won't help others in trouble "because they got into
trouble through their own fault" would probably not throw a
lifeline to a drowning person until they learned whether that
person fell in through his or her own fault or not.

Sydney J. Harris


The race of humankind would perish did they cease to aid each other.
We cannot exist without mutual help.  All therefore that need aid
have a right to ask it from their fellow humans;
and no one who has the power of granting can refuse it without guilt.

Walter Scott


In the time we have it is surely our duty to do all the good we can
to all the people we can in all the ways we can.

William Barclay

The truest help we can render afflicted people is not to take
their burdens from them, but to call out their best energy,
that they may be able to bear the burden.

Phillips Brooks


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I can't think of a nicer feeling in my life than that I get from having helped someone else.  There's a great deal of satisfaction involved in having given someone a hand when he or she has needed it.  One of the interesting dynamics about helping that I've discovered is that in helping others, I'm helping myself just as much as, if not more than, I'm helping the other person, for I leave the situation feeling good about myself, about my actions, and about the person I've helped.

That's not to say, of course, that I think we should help people just to make ourselves feel better.  That would be ridiculous, and having self-interest as your major motivation would undermine the helpfulness, taking away the sincerity and the joy of helping.  In fact, helping someone else just to help yourself may even take away the feeling of satisfaction.  But this feeling is very real, and sometimes when I'm asked to help, especially if helping someone else is inconvenient, I have to remind myself that yes, there is something in it for me, also.

But I also have to remind myself that it's my obligation to help others.  No, we aren't our brothers' keepers, but yes, we are our brothers' brothers and sisters.  We're all members of the human community, and if we're to become the people we need to become, we have to help others.  If we don't, then we'll watch people steadily shy away from asking for help, and the human community will grow more and more fragmented.  And then where will we be?  I can be selfish and deny help, or I can realize that that's what we're here for:  to help others make their ways through this process we call life, and thus make the world more pleasant for ourselves and our children.  People whom I've helped will be much more likely to help others, and to give to others, and thus I'm contributing to the well being of the world.

Of course, there will always be those who try to abuse help, who will try to get me to do things for them just because they want to shirk their own responsibilities or do something else that's more pleasant.  We have to develop a strong sense of discernment, for there will be times when the best help we can give is a firm "no."  We can't do everything for others, nor should we try.  That's damaging to us, and ironically enough, it's damaging to those we're trying to help.

As an instructor, for example, sometimes the best help I can give is to fail a paper that's handed in to me.  Many of my students have gone through high school receiving A's for average papers or C's for papers that should have failed, and their instructors haven't helped them out a bit by being so "kind" to them--these students are now in college being given a heavy dose of reality in the form of a harsh kick in the pants.  This kick could have been avoided if their high school teachers had been a bit less "helpful," focusing more on the work at hand than the students' self-esteem or feelings about themselves.  When I get a paper that doesn't meet college standards, the student needs to know this, and I'm not helping by giving a dishonest grade.

People who work with alcoholics and other addictive problems talk often of "hard love," and the concept of helping people by letting them hit bottom.  The co-dependent is a person who allows the behavior to perpetuate itself by "helping" the alcoholic by avoiding conflict.  Which is better--helping someone to reach a point at which they'll change destructive behavior, or allowing them to continue that behavior?

Once again, though, we need discernment--when is hard love appropriate, and when will it be damaging?  There are no easy answers, but I know that since I've shifted my focus from self to helping others every realistic chance I get, I've found a great deal of fulfillment in my life, and I wouldn't trade the tendency of helping others for anything.  Help can be as simple as a compliment or carrying a bag of groceries, and it usually doesn't cost a thing, but we certainly don't see enough of it in the world.

tom walsh
Our worth is determined by the good deeds we do, rather than by
the fine emotions we feel.

Elias L. Magoon

What do we live for if not to make life less difficult for each other?

George Eliot


In this world we must help one another.

Jean de la Fontaine



If we could all hear one another's prayers,
God might be relieved of some of his burden.

Ashleigh Brilliant


Studies of volunteers have shown there is a benefit to performing acts
of love for other people. The irony is that it is actually in your best interest
to be selfless. The things you do for the benefit of others not only
make you feel fulfilled, they increase your chances of living a long and happy life.
Remember that an act of love always benefits at least two people.

Bernie Siegel

We live very close together.  So, our prime purpose in this life
is to help others.  And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them.

Dalai Lama

Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one
at the end of your arm. . . As you grow older you will discover
that you have two hands.  One is for helping yourself,
the other for helping others.

Audrey Hepburn


In helping others, we shall help ourselves, for whatever
good we give out completes the circle and comes back to us.

Flora Edwards

To complain that life has no joys while there is a single person
whom we can relieve by our bounty, assist by our counsels or
enliven by our presence, is to lament the loss of that which we
possess, and is just as rational as to die of thirst with the cup in our hands.

Thomas Fitzosborne

I've been the person who got into trouble on my own, through
my own mistakes, and believe me, some help would
have been appreciated at those times.  But I also know that
it's very important to learn how to deal with adversity on our own,
without someone else bailing us out whenever we get into trouble,
so therein lies an interesting dilemma--how do we decide when our help
is necessary and when our help is damaging?  Are we going to let
someone else founder and lose their faith in people, or are we going
to become enablers by pulling them out of their own mess?

tom walsh



As Aunt Naomi was listing
all the things she was going to
do to help this person, her friend
stopped her in mid-sentence.
"Naomi, girl," she said, "you need
to resign as general manager
of the universe.  You need to learn
that sometimes the best way to help
a person is to let them help themselves.
Otherwise, they never learn how.
And they are always going to make
their problems your problems."

Patti LaBelle


Don't ask yourself what the world needs.  Ask yourself what makes
you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs
is people who have come alive.

Howard Thurman


How wonderful it is that nobody need wait
a single moment before starting to improve the world.

Anne Frank


It is because one antelope will blow the dust from
the other's eye that two antelopes walk together.

West African Proverb


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If you help others you will be helped, perhaps tomorrow,
perhaps in one hundred years, but you will be helped.

George Gurdjieff


Whoever in trouble and sorrow needs your help, give it to them.
Whoever in anxiety or fear needs your friendship, give it to them.
It isn't important whether they like you.  It isn't important
whether you approve of their conduct.  It isn't important
what their creed or nationality may be.

E.N. West



On his early morning walk along the shore, an old man noticed a young woman
picking up starfish and tossing them into the ocean.  As they passed each
other, the old man said, "Pardon me, but why are you picking up all those
starfish?"  The young woman answered, "Because if I leave them
stranded, they'll die in the hot sun."

"But," the old man said, "this beach is miles long and there must
be millions of starfish on it.  No matter how many you help,
how can it make any difference?"

The young woman looked down at the starfish in her hands,
threw it into the sea, and said:  "It makes a difference to that one."

Contemporary spiritual story

Great opportunities to help others seldom come,
but small ones surround us every day.

Sally Koch

To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act
is better than a thousand head-bowings in prayer.




If a friend is in trouble, don't annoy him or her by asking if there
is anything you can do.  Think up something appropriate and do it.

Edgar Watson Howe

A little boy was having difficulty lifting a heavy stone.
His father came along just then.
Noting the boy's failure, he asked, "Are you using all your strength?"
"Yes, I am," the little boy said impatiently.
"No, you are not," the father answered. "I am right here just waiting,
and you haven't asked me to help you."



When we desire to be a blessing, we find that there are many ways
in which we can bless others.  We can give material goods to others,
and we can also offer them the benefit of our experience.  People who
have faced and overcome challenges with alcohol and drugs often involve
themselves in helping others who are experiencing similar difficulties.
They understand the value of overcoming the problem.  In every area
of the human experience, we may find those precious ones who
are able and willing to be a blessing to others.

John Marks Templeton
Worldwide Laws of Life

We can never untangle all the woes in other people's lives.  We can't
produce miracles overnight.  But we can bring a cup of cool water
to a thirsty soul, or a scoop of laughter to a lonely heart.

Barbara Johnson

After the verb "To Love" . . . "To Help" is the most beautiful verb in the world.

Barbara von Suttner


Even if it's a little thing, do something for those who have need of help,
something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it.

Albert Schweitzer



Found online:

(Found online images come from a variety of unattributed
sources from various social media pages.  They're too nice
not to share!)


When Walker first steps onto the road, he has no thoughts, no history, no memories, and no clothes. As he travels and meets people and learns from them, he comes to know more about life, living, and becoming the person he's meant to be. Walker is a parable for all of us who wonder what might be the purpose of life, why bad things happen with almost as much regularity as good things, and how we can learn from the bad examples and experiences in our lives as much as we can learn from the good things. Tom Walsh's parable is a story of the ages, a timeless exploration of ideas and thoughts that all of us wonder about, a sincere and heartfelt portrait of a man who has no past and no future, but who learns to make the most of each precious present moment as it comes.