Swami Vivekananda

Teach People to help Themselves

“Look upon every man, women and everyone as God. You cannot help anyone, you can only serve : serve the children of the Lord, serve the Lord Himself, if you have the privilege. If the Lord grant that you can help any one of his children, blessed you are; do not think too much of yourselves. Blessed you are that privilege was given to you when others had it not. Do it only as a worship.

“. . . . I should see God in the poor, and it is for my salvation that I go and worship them. The poor and the miserable are for our salvation , so that we may serve the Lord, coming in the shape of the diseased, coming in the shape of the lunatic, the leper, and the sinner; So long as the millions die in hunger and ignorance, I hold every man a traitor who having been educated at their expense, pays not the least heed to them.

“. . . . In the world take always the position of the giver. Give everything and look for no return. Give love, give help, give service, give any little thing you can, but keep our barter. Make no conditions and none will be imposed. Let us give out of our own bounty, just as God gives to us.

“. . . . All the wealth in the world cannot help one little Indian village if the people are not taught to help themselves. Our work should be mainly educational, both moral and intellectual.

“. . . . Each work has to pass through these stages – ridicule, opposition, and them acceptance. Those who think ahead to their time are sure to be misunderstood.

“. . . . Him I call as mahatma (great soul) whose heart bleeds of the poor, otherwise he is a duratma (wicked soul). Let us unite our wills in continued prayer for their good. We may die unknown, unpitied, unbewailed, without accomplishing anything but not one thought will be lost. It will take effects, sooner or later.”

~Swami Vivekananda