There’s a maxim among people I know that says something like, “Just for today, I’ll help another person, and if it is found out, it won’t count.” Well not that, but the point being, “The glow of helping others is tarnished by bragging about it.”
My wife, the estimable Georgina, says the act of helping is what matters most, regardless, but I’m stuck in the middle. Yes, helping is helping, but I am not unfamiliar with helping as showing off.
Which is why I hesitate to relate the following, which I received four days ago:
I’m not in the habit of writing to people I don’t know, but I wanted to express my gratitude for your heartfelt interview on Tips of the Scale. I’m working on changing some things and I found your interview insightful. I have listened to it a couple of times now and will listen to it a few more no doubt. I have always felt that for many people obesity is a symptom of a deeper problem and that the “cure” would be to discover the reason for the excessive eating and then lasting weight loss would be possible. I am seeing a therapist and I’m losing weight, 32# so far. I wish I had begun therapy years ago but maybe I wasn’t ready then.
Keep up the good work and continue to get your message out, you are changing the world.
[She signed it, but I’m not using her name]
Yes, I could have asked permission to use her name, but I figured I’d just let it stand, and let you decide if it’s legit or if I’m making it up.
I answered her and was moving on, until I got this tweet the next day: “need help for sugar addiction.” I gave her my number, we chatted about a bunch of resources I’m familiar with (many listed here), I reached out to others who might also help, and I’m hopeful she’ll follow up.
Even if it borders on showing off, I am moved by seeing I have a helpful effect on the world. It’s why I am on this path. Sometimes, I get discouraged by my glacial pace toward having it be financial sustainable, which is a requirement if I am to be able to continue.
But when that happens, I remember that it’s not about me, it’s about “it,” the unique experiences and decades of professional storytelling I have that could be of great value to others.
I grateful when I see evidence outside myself that my efforts do indeed help others.
Sorry ‘bout the showing-off part.