3 Easy Ways to Help Others

by Jason on February 17, 2010


Most people I know have an innate sense for helping others. We may argue over how much we should help each other or even what the the best way is to help others.

We may discuss the government’s role in helping others versus our local church. But, we often dismiss how our economy is set up to allow us to help others in almost everything we do.

The Three Easy Ways to Support Others

Charity - giving with nothing expected in return.
Buy a Good – buying something with high value for a low fee.
Sell a Good – selling something with a low cost at a high price.

How These Three Support Others

Charity

The first thing that comes to mind when supporting each other is charity. I define charity as any time I give something to someone else and expect nothing in return.  For example, you may want to give to the homeless through a local shelter, or you may want to donate to help Haiti earthquake victims. 

Even the great capitalist Andrew Carnegie supported charity, but he understood the importance of giving wisely.

“Those who would administer wisely must, indeed, be wise, for one of the serious obstacles to the improvement of our race is indiscriminate charity” – Andrew Carnegie

When giving money away you are investing in others and your community. Although you receive nothing directly in return, the act of charity may help someone survive another day or get past a road block that is keeping them from living out their God given potential.

Buy a Good

A less understood way of actually giving is buying a good. Every time you buy something from someone you are helping them out. They used their creative talents and abilities to manufacture a product or service for you at some cost and by paying them you are giving them in opportunity to buy something with more value in their eyes in exchange. You still have to be wise when buying something, though. If you buy something that you really don’t want then you are essentially giving away money as charity and should evaluate the decision from the perspective of a charity gift instead of a purchase.

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Sell a Good

The flip side of buying a good is selling one. Just as a buyer helps a seller, the seller is also helping the buyer. When you work hard and create a good that has value to others you are supporting them by giving them an object of great value at a cost that is cheap to them. This is why they buy it. Again, though, you must be wise and only sell things that can be made at a cost lower than the selling price otherwise this is also a charity.

What This Means for You

Remember the joy you get every time you give to someone in need. Now that you know buying and selling also help others you can be happy every you reward a hard worker when making a purchase or provide value to someone when selling a good. Of course, never stop giving. Your investments to those in need will pay off now and forever, but be happy every time you make a wise buy or sell.

Verses to Consider

  • Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 1 Timothy 6:18
  • All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. Proverbs 14:23

This has been a guest post by Ryan.  He is the creator of ObsessedAnalytic.com, a blog for young adults helping them Find Time, Save Money, and Have Fun

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Lillie February 17, 2010 at 9:26 am

It was good to know that I am ahead of the game. I currently have the 3 (three) approaches to helping others already in place. Fortunate for me, I learned earlier that the best reward that I can receive is to give to someone else without an expectation of receiving something in return. I have made an effort to instill this in my children as well so that they also seek methods to ensure that they are helping others along the way. These three approaches make it easy. Thanks for taking the time to remind us of how easy and important it can be.
.-= Lillie´s last blog ..Teen Credit: The good and bad that you need to know. =-.

Deacon Bradley February 17, 2010 at 11:51 am

I love that you listed “buying a good” as a way to help others. Reading Thou Shall Prosper really impacted my view of buying and selling as a way to help others. His point is that after the transaction BOTH parties have gained (you a good you wanted, and them money). I think this is a perspective sorely missing from our culture these days.
.-= Deacon Bradley´s last blog ..7 Tips to Make Your Budget Work =-.

Jason February 17, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Lillie, it sounds like you’re teaching some great lessons to your kids. Keep it up as those are ones that will always be valuable for them throughout life!

Jason February 17, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Hey Deacon, I would agree with you and even push the point further by saying that we should probably have a mindset like this within our communities where we are trying to help local businesses by directing more business to them. This is something I am just becoming more aware of myself and have wondered how my consumption can help the local community.

Kevin@OutOfYourRut February 17, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Maybe this is just a dovetail off of buy a good or sell a good, but partnering with others maybe a fourth way. We’re doing that through networks, bartering arrangements and joint ventures. In that way, we pool talents, resources, etc, to “lift all boats”. It’s reciprocal, so we’re both giving and taking (receiving might be a better term).

Also, I think we’re giving to others by being friends with them, or being with them through a difficult time. Not all of giving is money.

In a real way, even when we give with no thought/hope of return, we still benefit. Every person we help is one less person in distress, which improves the community and society. I’m not trying to sound utopian here, but a person who is standing on their own two feet is a potential friend and customer, and the more people who are standing, the greater the pool of people who can help us in our moment of need.
.-= Kevin@OutOfYourRut´s last blog ..New Car or Used Car – Which is the Better Deal? =-.

Jason February 17, 2010 at 7:45 pm

Kevin, thanks for weighing in. I like the angle of just being a friend during difficult circumstances. I think we often forget how impactful that really is. In many cases more so than just a money transaction. I like the idea of networking and bartering arrangements etc. I think that is gaining popularity because of the economic crisis for sure.

I’ve also noticed that in the “blog world” where there are so many others willing to help out in any way they can through advice and encouragment. Good points!

ParisGirl111 February 18, 2010 at 11:06 am

I have never thought of selling a good or buying a good as supporting others, but I see now how that can assist in supporting others. Thanks for this information. I think I will go buy something now. :)

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