To Help Others, You Simply Have To Help Yourself First

“Render help unto others.”
This is one of the most popular statements we listen to every day.
It’s worth its weight in gold and it’s a statement that everyone has to take to heart.
But is everybody eligible to help others?

But in different scales.
Those who are capable of helping others tremendously are those who have helped themselves tremendously.
Is it possible for a hungry man to give food to another person?
Is it possible for a naked man to give clothes to others?
Is it possible for a homeless man to give shelters unto others?
Is it possible for a poor man to alleviate the poverty of others?
Is it possible for a failure in a field to help others move up in a field?
The prerequisite to helping others it seems, is to first help yourself.
Today, it’s easy for people to lose focus because they want to help others.
They try hard to enrich people when they're still poor.
The saying ‘the best way to lead is to lead by example’ brings this lesson to the fore.
It is, therefore, no surprise that it’s easier for someone who has succeeded to help others succeed.
What Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs tells us

This is one of the important lessons learned from the Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs.
Abraham Maslow hierarchy of needs

When you're at the base of the pyramid, you're looking to get food, clothing, and shelter.
You can't help other people until you fulfill these physiological needs for yourself.
However, you think of helping people when you need to fulfill the esteem and self-actualization needs.
When you meet your basic needs and go higher in the pyramid, you have the opportunity and ability to help other people.
The best way to go higher in the pyramid is to build yourself and succeed at whatever you do.
That may sound selfish. It may sound like you're only working for your success.
But even your success alone, without doing anything else, can inspire others to success.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
One of the most popular foundations in the world right now has helped many children, especially in Africa.
It has helped with the eradication of diseases like polio and other epidemics.
This is a noble effort by Bill and Melinda Gates to help as many children as possible grow up to achieve their aims in life.
But wait a second.
Bill Gates

Could this foundation have achieved this much success if, let’s say, Microsoft failed as a company under Bill Gates?
Was Bill Gates thinking about this foundation in 1975 when he just founded Microsoft?
Even if he had those thoughts then, he wasn't taking any action towards it.
Are we going to say Bill Gates was selfish? Not at all. Because you have to grow before you can help others grow.
When Bill Gates created Microsoft with Paul Allen, they were busy trying to build the company to the biggest size possible.
They were trying to serve as many people as possible. Working hard, building their skills as programmers, gave them the opportunity to help others achieve their business targets.
This, in turn, led to Microsoft becoming a bigger company.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was created in 2000.
This was after Bill Gates has been the richest man in America for 5 years.
Even though William H. Gates Foundation was created in 1994, it was still 19 years after the creation of Microsoft and 7 years after Bill Gates became a billionaire.
This foundation has a noble aim.
The foundation began in 2000 by donating $1 billion to give 20,000 kids the opportunity of going to college.
It has also committed almost $3 billion to polio eradication which has eliminated 99% of the cases and saved 13 million children from paralysis.
But it needs to be said that it would have been almost impossible to achieve that aim if a poor man created the foundation.
Mark Zuckerberg promises to give 99% of his Facebook stocks away
In 2010, he donated $100 million to the Newark Schools system to reform education in New Jersey.
Then in 2014, Zuckerberg and his wife Chan donated $25 million to the fight against ebola.
However, in 2015, Mark Zuckerberg and Chan made the biggest promise of all in a letter to their new-born daughter: to donate 99% of their Facebook stock.
The money would go to the Chan Zuckerberg initiative which will fund non-profit organizations, make private investments, and participate in policy debates to generate positive impact in areas of great need.
Could Mark Zuckerberg have done this in 2004, when Facebook was just starting out? Was 99% of Facebook stock worth as much as it is now?
But having developed the Facebook into the biggest social network company, it’s far easier to help more people achieve their aims.
Abraham Lincoln’s view
What was Abraham Lincoln’s thought about helping poor people?
Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln said:
“You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
“You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence. You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.”
This is as true as it gets. If everyone was poor, who is going to help the poor? If everyone was weak, who is going to help the weak?
If you really want to help other people in the world, you have to first help yourself.
When you gain enough power, you can empower other people.
When you're powerless, you can only think about empowering other people.
You’ll have the will, but then you’ll lack the necessary tools to execute your good will.

To give yourself the best chance of helping others, you have to help yourself first. 


  1. Amazing again. Loved the Abraham Lincoln quote, this post addressed a big flaw in the yoruba culture if I may, i see a lot of people trying to be who they are and then become overwhelmed.

    From the maslow pyramid, you can only help those who are below you or with you is this a right assumption?

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I think it's common for people to rearrange it and put less priority on their goals.
      Although it must be said that anybody still has the capability to help. But the scales are different.


Post a comment

I'll like to know what you think!

Never miss an insight!

Popular posts from this blog

See Why Your Humble Beginning Could Be A Blessing In Disguise

Boredom is Good For Your Creativity Says Psychologist Sandi Mann

Why Working Hard Can Propel You To The Next Level