When You "Help" Someone You Choose What Needs To Be Done.
When You "Assist" Them They Choose What Needs To Be Done.
Helping Is Deadly Assisting Brings Value To Their Lives.

On the surface this may seem to be merely a discussion on the definition of terms, but it is much more. Helping traps the receiver in a state of dependency that may be very difficult to break out of. assisting speeds the receiver on their way to making their life work on their own. There exists a class of helping that is excluded from this discussion. When African children are starving it is clear that help is what is needed. Also when the receiver is in a truly desperate state they can use all the help that is available.

Assisting, on the other hand, is what is needed when the receiver is capable and needs a boost to allow them to move on to a better place. A child stuck up in a tree will never learn to climb trees, or be self reliant, if someone climbs the tree and brings them down all the time. Coaching them in what to do to climb down would be a good form of assistance. That gives them the satisfaction from having done it themselves and they grow.

©  2002 John D. Toellner, All Rights Reserved