When You Help Someone, You Help Everyone

That’s May Parker‘s philosophy – and why she works at F.E.A.S.T., a homeless shelter whose name stands for “Food, Emergency, Aid, Shelter and Training.” If she can provide any one of these things for someone, May would call that a good day – and so can we.

“Help one person” is a powerful motto not because it gets us out of our own heads (it does) or because it’s the only way that truly works (it is), but because we’ll never know where the ripple effect of our unconditional support ends – and we mustn’t be so presumptuous as to assume we can.

A cup of coffee is rarely just a cup of coffee. Who’s to say what empowering thought patterns unravel, which gears click into place and start spinning behind the scenes? We? No. We’re not in charge of the universe. We’re in charge of sending out more positive ripples, some of which may never break, echoing forever through humankind – an unstoppable force carrying hope through the vast emptiness of space.

Will the person you helped smile? Hold the door for someone? Be nice to their kids? Maybe they’ll give their assistant a bonus, inspire their entire team, or start a global peace movement. Maybe none of those things happen – or maybe all of them will. You won’t know, but that’s no reason to not help. It’s reason to help as much as you can.

Someone helped Oprah before she was Oprah. Someone helped Gandhi, Mandela, and Malala. Now, they help everyone, in some cases long after they’ve passed.

It’s the butterfly effect in reverse: You help someone spread their wings, and halfway around the world, a dictator resigns. We can’t all be billionaires, Oscar nominees, and Nobel Prize laureates – but we all have the power to help.

When you help someone, you help everyone. Help someone today.