From The Family Virtues Guide


Helpfulness is being of service to someone. When you are being helpful, you do useful things that make a difference. Helpfulness can be doing something that others cannot do for themselves, things they don’t have the time to do, or just little things that make life easier.

Helpfulness is not always doing what other people want. This is just pleasing people. What people want may not be useful or good for them. Helpfulness is giving people what they need, not always what they want.

You can be helpful to yourself by being sure you that you have what you need. You can do things to help your body, such as eating the right foods, getting enough rest and exercise, or wearing clothes that will keep you from getting too hot or cold.

There are times when you may feel helpless. That is a good time to ask for help from others.

You deserve it.


People often need help to meet their needs or get things done. Many things take the efforts of more than one person. If people didn’t practice helpfulness, there would be no cooperation.

We all need help at time, whether we are learning something new and we need someone to teach us, or we are doing a hard job and need someone else’s strength or ideas. Sometime we just need a friend to talk to.

When people practice helpfulness, they care for each other. They make each other’s lives easier. They are willing to cooperate to get things done.

When people come together to help one another, great things can be accomplished.


You practice helpfulness by noticing what people nee. Look for opportunities to do a service for friends or people in your family or even someone you don’t know. When you are practicing helpfulness, you don’t wait for people to ask you. You notice what they need and just do it.

If you cannot figure out what someone needs, ask them, “How can I help?” or “Is there any help you need today?”

People (including you) need all kinds of things. Sometimes they need physical help, such as carrying a package when they have too many, or setting the table, or cleaning the house. They also need hugs, understanding, and appreciation. Sometimes the best help in the world is a listening ear.

When people ask you for help, it’s important to decide for yourself if what they ask is really good for them. If not, it’s probably more helpful not to do it.

It’s important to ask others for help when you need it.

What would helpfulness look like if…

  • A friend is carrying a whole pile of books?
  • It’s time for dinner and your mother could help?
  • You notice a friend looks sad?
  • You best friend asks you if she can copy your homework?
  • You baby brother spilled his milk on the rug and you mom is in the other room?
  • An older person just slipped and fell?

Sign of Success

Congratulations! You are practicing helpfulness when you…

  • Notice when someone needs help.
  • Do a service without being asked
  • Give people what they need, not always what they want
  • Listen to someone who needs to talk
  • Care for you own needs
  • Ask for help when you need it

Keep trying! You need more practice when you…

  • Act without thinking about others need
  • Do whatever anyone asks even if it isn’t good for them
  • Ignore others when they ask for help
  • Fail to offer other recognition, appreciation, or a listening ear
  • Never ask for help


I am helpful. I look ways to be of service. I care for others and myself. I look for helpful ways to make a difference.


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