True Help

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Not all help is created equal. In fact there is only one kind of help that actually is true help, and this is the kind of help whose aim is to one day make that very help superfluous. In other words, you should be wary of any kind of supposed help whose purpose is not to empower, whose purpose is not to improve knowledge, skills, opportunities, etc.

Actually authoritarian control often wears the guise of help. It might provide assistance to people in need but its true purpose is to maintain the status quo, to crystallize power imbalances and try to maintain them forever, handing out just enough resources to stave off rebellion and with it the potential collapse of that authoritarian system.

At a less nefarious individual level, helping others through superior knowledge, ability, or opportunity without trying to instill that same knowledge, ability, or opportunity in the other is usually unconsciously motivated by the feeling of superiority that comes from wielding that superior knowledge, ability, or opportunity. It feels good to feel superior, to feel powerful, to have people who need us, who are in awe of us, though most of us don’t like to admit this fact, it’s not something we say in polite company. The ostensible goal of helping someone else acts as the perfect rationalization to keep the true motivation from conscious awareness.

No one is doing you any favors, not really, when the help they provide keeps you in the dark about how to help yourself once that assistance dries up. If they give you a fish you’ll eat for a day, if they teach you to fish you’ll eat for your whole life.