- I teach in a school of social work...
- When I ask students, Why are you here? Why are you studying this?” They will usually say, “Because, I want to help people.”
- When I follow that up with a question like, “What does that mean?” or “What would it look like for you to help people?” Students don’t always have a well-thought-out answer.
- What I want to do on the podcast today is think about that, to think about what it means to be helpful to other people.
The signifiers in “I want to help people.” 9:20-23:50
- The sentence: “I want to help people.”
- What is I? A body in space and time, with a mind, has the ability to act (speak, move, think, etc).
- What is want? A desire, wish, craving.
- What is to help? Using one’s knowledge and skills in a way that is useful to another body, or that improves the quality of life (the material conditions) of other bodies.
- What are people? Other bodies in time and space.
- Keep in mind: Being helpful is not only making other people feel good! Sometimes being helpful means doing things that other people find unpleasant, but they need to do it anyway.
The difficulties in being helpful 23:50-43:15
- Sometimes you want to help someone by doing something.
- Other times you need to help them by not rescuing them.
- The importance of witnessing.
Concluding remarks 43:50-52:45
- We sometimes want to help others, but what we really want is to help ourselves.
- It’s important to get your own experience of dealing with your own difficult emotions before you can help someone else deal with their difficult emotions.