Should I help people? Who should I support?

Who do you feel a duty toward? Who is it your duty to support? I guess, some people, it would be nobody.
Just take care of themselves.
Some people don’t even take care of themselves.
And for some people, it just seems like they have so many people that they just want to take care of everybody.
I think it can be useful to be clear about this, to decide, who is it that I really need to support, that it is my duty, and my pride and joy even, to be able to support? And then other people, it would be, OK, I still will have basic treatment towards you as another being.
There are certain standards of how I will treat anybody.
But I don’t have any specific duty to support people outside this list.
It’s like we have a list of those people that we say, you know, I will support you.
And then outside that, it’s just basic human treatment.
I think it’s useful to have this distinction, because otherwise, it’s easy to either just maybe not support those people enough, and let that slide, or, what seems to be very common is to just kind of feel pulled in so many different directions.
Because there are always people that want something from us.
People are trying to take what they can, and for people that have no defences, it’s just like being energetically ripped to shreds.
There’s this feeling of responsibility that I have to make sure all these people are feeling OK, make sure that they’re taken care of, that if they’re disturbed or unhappy about something then I should somehow rectify this situation.
And I have to make sure everything’s OK with these people.
That can become a default, automatic way of operating, with everybody, or certainly with anybody in our circle.
And it’s often very well-meaning, because it’s the idea of, you know, I really want to help people, and I wish them well, and I hope and I want to do my best to increase the happiness in the world, and by helping all kinds of people.
And that is a good and commendable disposition to have towards people.
But it can so easily lead to this kind of overextension, of becoming spread too thin, so that I can apply my energy to helping this person and that person.
And for one thing, it leaves us open to those who will take advantage of that helping nature and will simply parasitically attach to anybody and just take what they can.
That has to be defended against.
And even if we’re surrounded by all well-meaning people that don’t mean to take advantage, still, if we feel this duty to take care of everybody, that can also simply lead to having our energy just spread around too many people, so that we will not have the energy and the focus to be able to help those who need it most and those who most need us.
So I can’t say it’s ideal to restrict it.
It’s still a noble ideal to want to help everybody.
But I believe that it’s not practical to feel this duty.
It’s not practical to feel a duty to support everybody.
It is better to choose a list of this inner circle, you could say, of people that I will support them.
And other people, we can still try to help in some way, but it’s not a duty to support them.
It’s not that we have to always be concerned about how they’re feeling and reach out to make things better and invest our energy directly in any specific person outside our circle.
Now, I have a hard time saying this, because, you know, it does seem to be kind of going against that ideal.
You know, in principle, we should help everybody, but we don’t have the energy, the time and energy and focus and commitment, to be able to do that with everybody.
So it’s like asking: is it better to spread a thin layer across everybody, or is it better to focus intensely on a few people? It seems like, for the most part, the best strategy is to focus intensely on a few people.
Still with a baseline of basic good treatment and goodwill and basic kindness to all people, but to actually invest our efforts in a concentrated way on the people closest to us.
That seems to be the better way.
We need to be very careful about making this list, and then I believe the best way is to have, once somebody is on this list of people you take care of, you treat them with a very high standard, and really do your best to take care of them.
And as much as it seems like holding back from people outside that list, I believe overall, it will make the world a better place.
If each of us has a handful of people that we intensely and energetically support and help and be there for, then overall, that’s still- if everybody in the world did this, we would have everybody have a handful of people supporting them, and that goes a long way.
So just like when it comes to friendship and family and people close to us, it’s quality over quantity.

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