What is help?

This question was put to me by a sixteen year old boy from a Himalayan country about four years ago.

“I know the owner of a small shop. One day, the owner was busy when a customer who had bought a cigarette was looking for the lighter. I knew where the lighter was and went to get it for him but I was in two minds because by giving him the lighter I was helping the owner and the customer but, at the same time, I was helping the customer damage his health.
What should I have done?”

Over to you, dear reader!


About Ian Gardner

Ian Gardner was born on the 20th February 1934 in Sri Lanka, then Ceylon, and christened Basil Ian Gunewardene. He was born two months prematurely and nearly died five times in his first two months. He moved to Australia in September 1969 where he changed his surname to Gardner. From childhood he had an enquiring mind and an innate interest in the supernatural. Since 1986, nineteen years of meditation, "searching within", reading and revelations have culminated in this free book which has been nine years in the making. Further writings followed and all his writings are available to all on the Internet free of charge. There is more information in the preface of the book.
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4 Responses to What is help?

  1. Ian Gardner says:

    “Pondering the question” is really the purpose of the exercise. Let’s give others the chance to add comments (if there are any) and I will add my bit.

  2. bert0001 says:

    I have been pondering this question for some time, and i would much agree with Klaus.
    A sermon will only have an effect at the right moment. Although, you never know when that right moment might be(!). After the sermon i would still offer the lighter. Pretending there is no lighter would make you not tell the truth. Giving the lighter, you might make two friends, and later find the right moment for the sermon. However, i have remembered good advise years later, although at the moment they gave me the advise i didn’t care about it.

  3. Give him the lighter. You are going to make him happy. He will smoke anyway.

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