When to Help

People ask: If rational self-interest is right and healthy, is it always wrong to help someone?

Of course not.

If you’re to help someone, (1) they should be of value to you, (2) you should be able to afford the help you’re giving, and (3) their problem (with which you’re helping) should be no fault of their own.

Indiscriminate helping is wrong. It enables unhealthy or bad behavior — at your own expense. You participate in the person’s self-destruction. This is as wrong as it gets. But helping isn’t always wrong. Helping what’s good is one of the greatest things in the world. It benefits yourself because it advances your own values.