Help, Hurt, and Responsibility

We all can influence others. And help. Or hurt.


Hopefully, most of the time, I mean well and the impact of my words and actions are helpful.


But like all humans, sometimes my motives have been far from kind and loving.

Like when I’ve been upset, so I spewed my rage in an effort to convince others to be as outraged as I am.

And then there’s that pernicious mental twist when I delude myself and hide a bad motive behind a good one. When my delusion of being right and righteous manifests, and I tell someone what I think they need to hear because I’ve decided it’s for their own good. But what I’m really trying to do is to control or manipulate or shame them into doing what I want them to do. In actuality, I really don’t care about how they’re affected. I only want to get my way.


Hard truth.


If I could rule the universe for one moment in time, I’d download awareness and mercy and love and kindness into everyone for all time. Where there was no chance anyone would harm anybody else.

But I don’t rule the universe.

So, I’m left with this truth about myself (and I don’t have to rage or spew or try to shame others into realizing this truth about themselves):

Whether I mean well or ill, or am having a “less than my best moment”, I’m responsible for how I act and what I say.

And I’m responsible for the help I give or the hurt I cause.

Why do I know I’m responsible?

Because I agree that the number of people I can hurt are the same number of people I can help.

It’s my choice. And my responsibility.

What truth can you share about how to help, and not hurt, others?

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Joni Vance is an award-winning author of fiction, essay, and poetry. She loves mystery, history, and how God reveals Himself every day.

May God reveal the mystery of His love in your life story.

2 thoughts on “Help, Hurt, and Responsibility

  1. I think we help many times just by listening to others and hearing their heart… and thinking… this is about them and not about me. It’s a hard thing to do. I have to continually work on it. All your posts really make me think deeply, Joni. You always get to the heart of each subject.

    • I think listening to others is one of the most caring things we can do. I appreciate those thoughts and reminders. I’m glad my posts are helpful. 🙂

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