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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Help-Abuse in our Society

Written by: Muoka Chibuzor

The beauty of life is appreciated when people help one another in every reasonable way, this shows the existence of mutual love, which should be reciprocated so as to increase the quality of life people live. Life becomes ugly and tiresome when people fail to help one another or instead abuse the help they have received from people of goodwill. In this case, the essence of HELP actions is undermined by abusive reactions.

At times, one might begin to think or wonder why this phenomenon is more pronounced in this current generation of humans.  No one currently wants to indulge in rendering help to the helpless and needy. A rich man sees a poor man dying in hunger and turns a blind eye. 
Why should such anomaly rear its ugly head and be more pronounced in this 21st century? At the mention of HELP, people frown their faces or shy away from it. Help is now seen as a deadly trap.

Although not everyone is evil, wicked, or filled with ungodly intentions. Still there remains the pertinent question that craves for an immediate answer. The question is simple and it asks, why do people no longer render help nor show sympathy to the needy or oppressed? Finding good Samaritans in our society nowadays is like a wild goose chase, and can be compared to a camel passing through the eye of a needle.

The answer for the recent helplessness witnessed in our society today, is as a result of the gross emergence of a phenomena known as HELP-ABUSE. Help-abuse is a portmanteau or the amalgamation of two distinct words which are Help and Abuse.

According to the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, Help means giving assistance or support to an individual (to make way for relieve in any critical condition witnessed by an individual). According to the Wikipedia, Abuse means the improper usage or misuse of an entity or something, to bad effect or for a bad purpose.

In essence, Help-abuse means the improper use, regard, and reception of assistance received in any form. Help-abuse has rubbished the impacts of philanthropists in our society. It has made the good eggs among men to lament to God and soliloquize in agony, in most cases they are filled with sorrow and soaked in regrets because of the outcome of a help rendered to a sibling, friend or a stranger.

A young man was recently seen lamenting, and he said - why is it that the people I have helped in the past, often turn around to stab me at the back? And we depart as enemies. Does it mean I have been acting stupidly and foolishly by rendering assistance to my fellow being? God why? 

Thus he questions God because he feels that God in his infinite mercies, would be so gladdened when he renders help to humanity and God will bless him more, it is true and he has not erred for think as such, but the reverse often becomes the case as unforeseen catastrophes emerge from a help rendered with a clear conscience.

This shows that man as an entity is totally unpredictable, and have atoms of ungratefulness lingering in his being, and he is actually waiting for the right time to manifest it. Because of help-abuse, innocent people who really need help cannot have access to it. As a result of the attitudes of people who have crossed the path of the helper in the years past.

A woman who owned a restaurant at Ebonyi state was seen harassing corps members who were serving in her land and were in dire need of food to eat.

What is the problem? She said, and I quote:

“People are unappreciative, past corps members who ate in my shop during their one year service, failed to pay me my money and I was at loss, God will punish them. I was so foolish to have accepted their lie, which was that they will eat and pay immediately the monthly allowance is paid to them, and not only that. The male corps members when accepted into the community and welcomed into various clans and families, tend to champion the cause of impregnating our young girls and then run away at the end of service year.”

Is this behavior good? She asked me. It’s not good, I replied.

If people do not abuse help, probably there will be more philanthropists around. People who are willing to stop, and ask what is happening, and then proceed to proffer helpful solutions, won’t be a rare breed.

A young man was lamenting on how he offered help to a stranger by giving him a ride on his motorcycle, but along the way, the stranger contacted his gang and they robbed him and took his motorcycle away. So many people have met their untimely death as a result of helping someone. But is that what it should be? Should Help as a concept, be tagged with evil?

Miss Chioma a young landlady was overheard saying, “I wasn’t hardhearted before, I used to help anyone in need, but today people say am wicked, but I don’t care because my past experiences with helping people have thought me a lot. I now mind my business 24/7, let the dead bury the dead!”

Some of the few causes of Help-abuse includes: Lack of Fear of God in people, Hatred, Dead Conscience, Greed/ envy/ Jealousy, Ungratefulness, Callousness etc.

We can go on and on to recount peoples sad experiences, even I the writer have borne the brunt of ungratefulness from friends assumed to be trustworthy. But we must not let that stop us from doing well. We must always remember that the only legacy we leave behind is not how much money we have, how many houses we built nor how many cars we ride, but how many lives we touched.

No matter how badly aircrafts crash today, people will still engage in air transportation tomorrow. No matter how bad people abuse your help, it should not stop you from rendering help. You never know what God has in stock for you, rather do you know the next shoulder you might be forced to lean on, since a tree does not make a forest or jungle.

Mathew 25: 34 – 40
Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘come you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.
Then the righteous will ask him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you as a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?
The king will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine (Brethren), you did it for me.’

People should not expect much, when they help others. Because when you expect much, you can easily be disappointed and then the thought of help-abuse comes to mind. Help because you want to help, and not because you want something in return for the help you rendered. When you render help and demand for something in return, then there is no help rendered. Such can be termed to be a transaction between a seller and a buyer in a market scene.

The only way to minimize the risk of exposure to help-abuse is by being vigilant enough to know who you are helping. In cases where by you have the opportunity to have a closer look at who came for help, maybe he/she is a friend or sibling, it’s advised to evaluate the individual in question and estimate how trustworthy or God-fearing he/she is. Do not waste your resources on people who you know will clearly abuse your help and do not judge people, neither do you categorize everyone as being the same, without evaluating the personalities involved.

Helping strangers is not bad, but helping them is often strange. You must be in good relationship with your creator (God), listen to your heart and discerning spirit, so as to be able to discern when to help a stranger or not. 

Helping a Stranger
If you discover strange behaviors from a stranger, it’s advised that you distance yourself from the stranger to avoid being hurt. Watch the stranger closely, starting from the way he/she talk and walk, to dressing, to body language, body stature or structure, to eye movements, to utterances made and the tone in which it’s made. 

Check the situation at hand, is it a casualty, the time and location of meeting the stranger, is it very or fairy convenient for you? Ask the stranger few questions that can help ascertain identity. But in all you do, render help if it’s of great necessity.

“The smallest deed is better than the greatest intention.” – John Burroughs

And when you have assessed the individual and felt convinced enough to help, but you get disappointed at the end of the day, as a result of the occurrence of help-abuse after helping, do not be weary but instead count it all joy that you were able to help with the resources God has given to you. Forever, he that gives will be blessed, that’s a natural law on earth. See yourself as a strong personality, who have a heart full of love, with a listening ear ready to listen and with a hand willing to help others.

Help abuse can be eradicated from our dear society, if people are willing to change their behavior and have the fear of God, love one another, show appreciation and kindness, avoid gossips and side talks, strive to build a clear conscience always, be accommodating, never neglecting the people who helped out, and living in harmony with one another etc.

Do not give up on helping people, because God never gave up on helping you. The humans you see every day are the ones, God uses in granting help. However, help people when you know they can’t help you back. Caring people help others not because they expect a reward but because it is natural to show kindness. Show kindness by helping out whenever you can, even in the face of recurrent help-abuse.

In all you do, still apply wisdom and precaution.

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