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“Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of your arm … As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands. One for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”
— Audrey Hepburn
There is an old saying most people will probably recognize: give a man a fish and you can feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you can feed him for a lifetime. There is some definite authenticity to that statement. Feeding someone in need is a noble deed. But teaching them to take care of themselves will take them much further.
We are called to help our neighbors. We do it not only because it helps them, but because it is the right thing for each of us to do. But helping our neighbors does not only include providing them with necessities as needed. Instead, we should teach them out to take care of themselves in the future.
As adults though, we have an even more important responsibility. We are role models and teachers to the young children in our lives. More important than helping our neighbors is the notion of teaching those young children how to take care of themselves. They will never find more support anywhere else than they will find in their own two hands and it is our job to ensure they learn that lesson from an early age.
As you go about your week, think of the children and young adults in your life. What message are you sending them? What lesson are they learning from you?