Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Art of Helping. Step 8 and 9

8. To help is to serve

How is it possible to have more knowledge than the person asking for helep, and even know what this person knows, and still not have the need to dominate? Helping another person by implementating an initiative without this persons consent, can be experienced as being dominated and not respected. Treating people with dignity implies respecting their independence (autonomy) and their right to make their own decisions. A social worker or health care worker can only make the conditions as best as possible for the person in need, but it is the person asking for help who must choose to be helped or not. Children and people with different forms for disabilities or psyciatric conditions are to be treated with the same dignity as everyother citizen.

9. To help is to be patient

To humble oneself under another person means being patient. This is something parents experience at one time or another in the upbringing of children. Children may use a lot of time playing a certain game, they may seem never to finish, dawdle, do not behave and do not think like adults. Being patient has to do with having the necessary time that is required in situations that emerge. Social workers and health care workers must often work under extreme time pressure, leaving little time to each client or patient. Those needing help are expected to come to the help giving institution, cooperate within given time limits, and leave when the appointment is over. Those seking help might experience that they are the ones being patient with the helper and not the other way around. The art og helping according to Kierkegaard demands that the helpgiver be more patient than the helpseeker.

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