There's no better exercise for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.
"Be careful if giving from a desire to feel good about yourself, rather than from a place of connection."
When we see people in need, we may want to give them something as a way of helping them, but if we give without taking the time to see them for who they really are, honoring that most of all, our gift is nowhere near as powerful as it could be. We may want to give someone we see begging on the street corner a sandwich, but if we give without taking a moment to look the person in the eye, and make authentic contact, we rob them of the experience of being human.
Being in a position of "need" leaves people feeling helpless and full of self-doubt. The greatest gift we can give is to see people in need without any judgment and with the understanding that we are not superior to them simply because we are not currently in their position. If we take the long view, we can see that we all started life in need of a lot of care and attention, and many of us will end life similarly. Giving and receiving are partner energies that take turns throughout our lives, and we may all get the opportunity to see both sides of the exchange.
It’s essential to be mindful of our own tendency to give from a desire to feel good about ourselves, rather than from an acknowledgment of our connection to all people. Letting go of our self-importance allows us to see that, regardless of appearances, we are all givers and receivers. When we are in the position of the giver, we honor those we are helping when we remember the many individuals who have helped us along life's path. Only then can we truly "see" the person we are helping, fully aware that we are making contact with a human being who is in every way, our equal.