Fragment of a plain message.

Fragment of a plain message.

Guide to help someone.


If we wish to succeed in helping someone to reach a particular goal
we must first find out where he is now and start from there.

If we cannot do this, we merely delude ourselves
into believing that we can help others.

Before we can help someone, we must know more than he does,

but most of all, we must understand what he understands.

If we cannot do that, our knowing more will not help.

If we nonetheless wish to show how much we know,

It is only because we are vain and arrogant,
and our true goal is to be admired, not to help others.

All genuine helpfulness starts with humility before those we wish to help,
so we must understand that helping is not a wish to dominate but a wish to serve.

If we cannot do this, neither can we help anyone.


Soren Kierkegaard, 1859