In November, it was said that “I do not HELP the right type of people, and my exchange students do not count.” I am still bitter about this, which helps no one. Letting negative people live rent-free inside my head eats at me. It will turn me, as it would turn you, into a resentful and, eventually, hateful person. We all deserve better. That is why I am writing today to work through my bitterness in hopes that it will heal me before I become hateful. Perhaps you are in this process and would like to join the journey.
I more recently began thinking about what it means to help. Certainly, when I started hosting exchange students, my intention was not to help them as it was to provide my family with an opportunity to get to know about other cultures. Our experience over the last six years has been just that, an adventure in getting to know amazing people from different cultures. So, what does help have to do with it?
When I think back on the ways I may have helped my exchange students, it is in ways I would think any older adult would help a young adult. Through trying to display positive conflict resolution, openness, understanding, forgiveness, being a cheerleader that amplifies their light, and what little business knowledge I possess, among other skills. It is how I would help my own family or my employees. However, help almost doesn’t seem like the right word, or is it?
Good relationships are based on mutual trust and help. Indeed, when someone is young or new to a country, they need more help. Yet, if you have a strong bonded relationship, help must go both ways; it has with my exchange students. Perhaps I have taught them some life skills, but they have taught me about the world. My children are more resilient, competitive, and driven because they have been surrounded by their exchange siblings that possess all those qualities.
I find this to be true, no matter who I help. You are expected to help with a mentorship program, but eventually, those relationships become one of mutual help through understanding. If you HELP someone, you have the chance to build a relationship with that person, which helps you. If this is what you understand “help” to mean, then maybe those who think this way are just jealous. How can you be mad at someone who is jealous? It is best to try and teach them how they can achieve the same type of relationships.