By Lina Martinez

It’s true; we’re not a helpful species anymore. Whether it is because the amount of social media we use has made us so insular that we have no idea what to do when we are faced with a real, physical crisis, right in front of our eyes. Or we are just keen to “look after our own” now, it’s a problem that we don’t talk about. Look around you, there are people who are crying out for help through Facebook or Twitter, but the fact that we can hide behind our screens means that we aren’t doing enough anymore. Friends online are more like fair-weather friends or acquaintances now than anything else, so can we really depend on them in our hour of need? Thankfully, issues surrounding mental health are spoken of much more openly, and while everyone is making sure that they are communicating their needs much more efficiently, what can we do to start helping the issue?

Well, charity begins at home, as they say. We’re in an age where people are easily fearful of what they don’t know, which is ironic based on the fact that we have so much more access to information now than we ever did. Access to other cultures, and so we should be more tolerant now, but it seems to be going backward. There are so many career choices that require us to work in a call center, and not help a customer too much because it will affect your stats for the year. So instead, going for a job that is a contribution to society is the obvious choice. Working as a police officer, working for charities, or working in the medical profession are pillars of the community where you can make a difference, especially the medical industry, where the focus has shifted away from the personal touch. A medical career in the international air evac services is a dynamic and exciting approach to a job where you can help people. It’s the rescue professions that we look to as the real definition of what a hero or heroine is, and so, surely it’s these careers that we should aspire to. Like Milhouse said in The Simpsons, that the real heroes are “curing heart disease and wiping out world hunger” and we can all contribute to it in some way, instead of looking after ourselves.

It can be a bit trite to talk about helping others out, and all those clichés like “it’s better to give than to receive” but really, you can't do any better than doing your best to help others in their hour of need. And even from a selfish perspective, it makes you feel good. But in a world where everyone is so keen to look after number one, it means that we’re not progressing any further as a species. It’s a simple beginning, to find ways to make a career where you help people as part of your everyday life, so you can get into the habit of helping. We seldom look for ways to give back anymore, so maybe it’s time to make a change?