To help yourself – help others.
Today as part of the company charity day I helped out at Brixton Soup Kitchen, a service providing hot meals and clothing to those in need, including homeless people and people suffering with mental health issues. Of course my interest was to help those in need but strangely enough I found that by the end of the day of making pasta bake and repainting the walls of their open space areas, I found I was the one feeling better off – about myself by helping out others.
I would definitely say if you’re struggling with low self-esteem or motivation then even if you can’t bring yourself to do something for you, start by doing small things for others, you’ll soon begin to gain a sense of responsibility and esteem to a point where you can start to do you things for you. It’s annoying but I find that’s the case sometimes, where I’m more willing to stick my head in the fire for somebody else over myself which I guess is both good and bad depending on the circumstance. But I think the bottom line is even if you help out at a charity with the intended internal goal of helping yourself you shouldn’t feel selfish about this. Heck, I’d rather be ‘selfish’ doing something for charity than being selfish in other ways, wouldn’t you?
It’s interesting because from the choices of charity I could have decided to work with today, I initially chose the ‘wildcard’ which was pretty much a lucky dip. Only late last week after the closing date of signing up to a charity did I come to find out that this wildcard option was only feasible for employees in the United States 😦 So it was by chance that a space was still available at the soup kitchen here in London.
It was a humbling experience, learning through others’ anecdotes was eye opening, one which hit home was that you may have it all today and lose it all tomorrow. Suddenly this concept seemed alot more real coming from the mouth of someone wolfing down the pasta bake I made an hour previous. I learned that we should all be a little more thankful for the jobs we moan about on a daily basis, for without them we would not have a roof over our head or food on our plates. Infact the main leader today gave that exact story of a man who was doing what I was doing today, lending a hand to only find that the tables would turn and that he himself would be needing their assistant a few years down the line. Not to be negative but I guess you never really know what’s round the corner. I also noticed that you really can’t judge a book by it’s cover, some people who walked through the door looked dare I say it well put together, but obviously don’t let appearance fool you, the reason they are in need obviously isn’t clear to the eye. It’s hard not to judge, infact I believe it’s pretty much impossible, isn’t it natural for us to make decisions and rationalise based on our observations? But I guess, don’t be too quick to assume is better phrasing.
All I can say from today is maybe instead of beating yourself up about making a mistake or moping about in the house, do one nice thing for someone like help them with their shopping or simply hold the door out, or take it a step further and volunteer at an organisation of your choosing, you may just find that you get more out of it than you thought you would.