Q: It seems like every time I try to help someone it turns out badly. Am I a fool for trying to help people when they’re down on their luck and need a helping hand? I’d like to think it’s the right thing to do, but then when they just take advantage of you, it’s hard to keep on doing it. — M.C.
A: If you think that helping others is the right thing for you to do, then it probably is. The people who have needed your help may have had problems such as mental illness or addiction that resulted in their hardship. If this is the case, any aid that you give may help them temporarily, but ultimately they will need assistance with these problems before they can get back on their feet. You may want to modify the way in which you help others by trying to determine if they have any underlying problems that need to be addressed, and then assist them in seeking treatment or therapy. Your aid could let them feel that someone cares for them, and could provide support in their efforts to modify their behavior.
On the other hand, some of these people may be lazy or greedy. In this case, they make take advantage of you and your attempts to help them may be wasted . However, if you have the means to continue helping others, I hope that you do so while trying harder to determine if these people need a different type of assistance (e.g. therapy) or are trying to take advantage of your generosity.
Feel free to leave your answer to this question in the comments.