The White Knight is the character who rescues those unfairly oppressed. In business the white knight rescues from the hostile takeover. Some suggest the White Knight rescues women expecting a romantic reward, and Urban Dictionary says the female equivalent is the mother figure. I like rescuing, but get warned off. “You’re not helping”, the critics say, “he is beyond help,” or that I should only help those who deserve it.
I get an immediate good feeling from attempting to help. Perhaps I am even altruistic, but also I get something from it. I am interested in people, and applying my mind to “Who is this person? What makes them tick?” increases my knowledge and understanding of others- which clearly benefits me. I like to see myself as a good person, and part of that self-image is that I am a helper.
Then, everyone is interesting for at least an hour. I met a man whose OCD took the form of doing things alphabetically. His weird escape from reality into a tedious obsession would pall, quickly, but exploring it for an hour passed the time. Eventually the mental health team found something to motivate him. He was interested, took action, and achieved something. I was not paid to rescue, exactly, but to give a particular kind of useful assistance.
Merely paying attention makes people feel better. Face to face, I put my listening face on and they open up, and I can see the relief. It is not much effort.
Getting people to turn their lives around is of course far more difficult. In the past I have come up with all sorts of Good Advice, the person has not taken it, and I have become frustrated and angry with them. Now, I disengage. Possibly, they have taken it in: I found in my early twenties that I would react angrily to my father’s good advice, and find myself following it six months later.
I don’t generally find I am repaid. The good feeling I get has to be an end in itself.
He saved others, but he cannot save himself! gloated the bystanders at the crucifixion. My own life is a mess. I can come up with Good Advice for me, too, but do not take it.
You thought I should start submitting articles, and this seems a possibility: general interest with a particular perspective. It seems to me it needs developing: how, do you think?