A friend said some days ago that some people don’t want to help others to grow. She’s not the only person that has this view. A lot of articles and memes on this subject matter can be found in all social media including LinkedIn that is very professional in nature. In most of these posts, it’s made to look as if people deliberately don’t want to help out because that’s their way of ensuring the downfall of others. The long and short of it is that those whose request weren’t granted have it at the back of their mind that people don’t want their progress. But this is not always the case, at least as far as I can tell.
From personal experiences and that of close associates, I have realised that most times, the manner of approach, nature of request, and history of the individual concerned could stand in the way of obtaining help from people. I will do my best to explain these below.
- Some people that ask for assistance don’t really know what they wanted. This may sound outrageous but it is true. I know a lot of people can testify to this as well. A good example is when a director of an MDA visited his home town and his relatives asked him to help them find something doing. When he asked people like this exactly what they wanted, some of them gave answers like, “I don’t know”, “Anything will be ok for me”, “Just find something for me in your office or city”, and so on. The usual response from him on cases like this, if he even responds at all, is “when you know what you want to do, send message across to me,” and that ends it there. This is how most people lost opportunities of getting help. As for this director in question, his village people still complain that he helps no one.
- Some people request for things the benefactor cannot afford or grant. The problem with people that make this kind of request is that they feel so entitled and deem it their right to be provided with their demand. For example, if this same director mentioned above was asked for the sum of two million naira by a close relative, how sure are we that he could provide that amount of money? Another good example here is when someone who isn’t qualified for a position in a company asks for a referral from a close relative who works there, or when an applicant expects automatic employment in a company because his connection works there as a senior officer.
- Some people request for assistance over failed projects. A lot of benefactors are sceptical about sponsoring projects and businesses that had flopped earlier. I know it’s not unusual to fail several times before attaining success, but is it easy to sponsor someone on a project he has failed several times? Wouldn’t your first suggestion be that he tries something else?
- Some people only want to collect without giving back. What I mean here is that there are people that want money, jobs or other things to be easily handed over them but wouldn’t want to be of help in any way to their benefactors. For instance, there’s this young man that is good in block moulding. He went to someone to seek for assistance in starting up a block industry. The man he met told him he has an interest in the business but lacks the technical know-how. He agreed to sponsor the business by providing start-up capital but on the condition of being a partner. I don’t know the terms of the partnership but the young man turned down the offer because, as he said to me, the “old man” wants to use him to set up a business.
But the major reason for dropping this piece is that people that ask for assistance need to bear certain things in mind as they do so. Some of these include:
- A lot of benefactors want to invest in people and not just dash out money. I know people will talk about charity, but let us also remember that the essence of lifting people up is for them to lift others too. People give to those they know that will utilise it well and account for it properly. So, if you have a bad reputation for mismanagement, don’t expect positive responses for your requests.
- People help those with potentials. This is why scholarships always go to the very intelligent ones. So for you to obtain that help you seek, you should ensure that you have something worthwhile that will attract the attention of the benefactor.
- Benefactors have their own worries. I don’t know how to say this without sounding sarcastic. People need to understand that they are not the worries of these benefactors. Everybody has his own problem and stress; so expecting that another person should add yours to his already burdened shoulder is quite unfair. Be empathic as you table your problems and needs, it will help you to understand in case you didn’t get what you asked for.
- Time is hard. I’m stating this here because a lot of people felt that there are those that have money making machines in their houses. People should understand that there is every possibility that those whose assistance they asked for may not be buoyant. Let them not see the inability of being helped as a deliberate act to stall their progress. It is quite possible that the person asked couldn’t meet the demands.
- Money isn’t the only means of assistance. I think this is one of the major problems we have. People believe that the only way someone could help them is by giving them money or physical assets. There are so many other ways assistance could be rendered which doesn’t include money. For example, that someone is ready to spare some of his time to attend to your worries and suggest ways you could overcome your challenges is quite valuable. Everything mustn’t be about money.
So, as you approach that “Big Man” or woman, remember, things aren’t always what they seemed. Don’t be discouraged if you receive “No” as an answer, it could be that you haven’t met the right person yet. But first of all, check yourself very well to be sure are not behind the reason your request was denied.