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Helping Others, When to, When not to.

Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.

The origin of this thought is highly contested. I have seen claims that that the adage is Chinese, Native American, Italian, Indian, or Biblical. Sometimes it is linked to Lao-Tzu, Maimonides, or Mao Zedong. Would you please explore this topic?

Quote Investigator: The general principle of alleviating poverty by facilitating self-sufficiency has a long history. The 12th-century philosopher Maimonides wrote about eight degrees in the duty of charity. In 1826 an explication of the eighth degree was published in a journal called “The Religious Intelligencer”.

Lastly, and the most meritorious of all, is to anticipate charity by preventing poverty, namely, to assist the reduced brother, either by a considerable gift or loan of money, or by teaching him a trade, or by putting him in the way of business, so that he may earn an honest livelihood and not be forced to the dreadful alternative of holding up his hand for charity. . .
No matter what we do professionally, this should be our mantra.
As a Chef, I've tried to make this my ideal. I have learned a lot of my 40 years of cooking...still learning, and feel it's my duty to share my experiences and skills with people considering this field of endevour.
“It’s not so much what you know as it is who you know.”

This truism suggests that with friends in the right places, you can succeed even if you are incompetent. We can all point to someone like this, but I interpret this statement differently. I believe that competence is a given and that no one can succeed long term without the skills and aptitude to perform at an acceptable level. With this in mind, surrounding yourself with others who serve as an inspiration, confidant, teacher and guide, and most importantly a critic who points you in the right direction, will only help you reach your goals.

A mentor is someone who teaches or gives help and advice to a less experienced and often younger person.

This literal definition fails to focus on the scope of the relationship that exists between mentor and mentee and assumes that a person receiving the mentoring is younger than the person providing the guidance. Mentor relationships can and do exist without age barriers and typically go way beyond giving help or advice.

I find that connecting with the right mentor is the single most important step in the progression of a person’s career, and in many cases life. On the other side, being a mentor is by far one of the most important and rewarding pursuits in life.

True mentors share common traits:

  1. They always work hard at their pursuits.

  2. They never feel like they know it all and every day is an opportunity to learn.

  3. They are very humble about their success.

  4. They are true to their beliefs and never waiver from those things that they consider their “stakes in the ground.”

  5. They have high expectations of themselves and of others.

  6. They are not afraid to take calculated risks.

  7. They are honest beyond reproach.

  8. They never criticize, but are always willing to critique. Critique infers that when pointing out something that is incorrect they take the time to demonstrate how to do it properly.

  9. They are, as a result of #8, natural teachers.

  10. They always see the good and the potential in others and focus on that.

  11. They are willing to openly share what they know and provide others take to heart what is offered.

  12. They will always push others to reach their potential and rise up from mistakes and what others might consider as failure.

  13. They take more satisfaction in the success of others than they do in their own.

  14. They are their own worst critics.

  15. They realize that their ability to help others depends on their commitment to the aforementioned 14 points.

Philanthropy is a form of altruism that consists of "private initiatives, for the public good, focusing on quality of life". Philanthropy contrasts with business initiatives, which are private initiatives for private good, focusing on material gain; and with government endeavors, which are public initiatives for public good, notably focusing on the provision of public services. A person who practices philanthropy is a philanthropist.

So in closing, there really isn't a bad time to give. And it's not necessarily about money, you can lend an ear, give a hand, just do something, give something back. Cheers, and have a great hump day!

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