SEAFing and HELPing

On 8/22/2016, I could only skim an email from a colleague requesting Seafing or Helping. I was so dizzy I couldn’t sit up, the side effect from a new med I had just started taking to improve my memory. I had the same reaction from my previous memory med. Writing this I am not dizzy but my balance and perceptions are still not “normal”, and I can’t find good words to describe my state. I have since read the email and this event has cast useful light on the distinction I am making between seafing and helping.

In a grossly inefficient manner (low eeree), Banner Medical Center (UofArizona) provides a weak form of seafing. They assess my biological condition and prescribe treatment in the form of recommended medications, which I must perform the behavior of acquiring and taking the med. Banner doesn’t do any behavior for me that I could do myself.

The following is an exercise in exploring distinctions, not a call to use the terms “help” and “seaf” in this precise manner. For some readers, it will seem to “picky”. However, if we were to use this distinction and assess the ratio of helping vs seafing being done, I would expect that helping would be much more frequent – whereas, our survival/thrival may call for much more seafing.

Seafing (supporting, enabling, augmenting, facilitating) might be viewed as meta-helping. Seafers might provide information, from an assessment of a person’s (team’s, org’s) situation and needs, from which the person can plan and execute change. With the person’s permission, the seafers may undertake to alter some of the environment of the person being seafed. Seafers may also provide guidance (education, training, counseling) for the changes to be undertaken. Such changes may be in concert with changes others are making.

The line between seafing and helping may not be sharp.

Helping, as used here, refers to a person or system doing some of the tasks the entity being helped can’t do, but would need being done to achieve their (the entity’s) objectives and goals. Helping may involve doing more of what the person being helped is already doing. A helper joins the helpee in his/er activity.

Persons from the seafers team might also chose to help, but it should not be classified as seafing. The objective of seafing is to improve the “commons”, by assisting a person change to better fit the needs of the commons AND also improve the overall well-being of the person. Seafing feeds emergence; helping only adds “energy/momentum” to an ongoing activity. Helping may also contribute to emergence, but by accident not intention.

Before my dizzy spell, I had started a new post titled: SEAFING revisited, Mutual & Web, wherein I will attempt a comprehensive explication of this conceptual scheme. I was doing this for two reasons: 1) the significance of SEAFing for all that we do in the future, and 2) my personal needs for being seafed at this time. I was confronted, myself, with the distinction between seafing and helping. My colleague’s request for seafing and/or helping simply highlighted the need for clarification.

During my many hours lying in bed, metaphors for the helping/seafing distinction kept popping to mind.

Think of a person pushing/rolling a large boulder to the top of a hill.

  • You can HELP the person by pushing with him/er.
  • You can SEAF the person by clearing the path, making it easier to roll.
  • You can SEAF the person by giving him/er water, food, even encouragement.
  • You can SEAF the person by organizing others to HELP him/er.
  • You can SEAF the person by suggesting s/he use a block & tackle and drag the boulder up the hill.

I had the idea of a “seafing boulder rolling down a hill”. Instead of the destruction we imagine caused by a stone boulder, imagine a “seafing sphere” that would seaf all things it encountered as it rolled through the people on the hill.
Is gifting money or resources helping or seafing? It may be both or neither.

Gifting would be HELPING when it enables the persons gifted to do more of what they are doing, and/or to do what they had planned to do, but had not yet started.

Gifting would be SEAFING when it is used to explore and test new aspects or relationships of what is being done with the doings of others, or with expanded objectives or goals.

Gifting would be neither helping of seafing when it is used to improve the quality of life of the persons being gifted. Only, if gifting the persons did it improve the work of the persons, would it be viewed as helping/seafing.


Helping/Seafing Persons in NEED.

Persons surviving disasters, or any persons in danger or under the influence of “forces” that oppress or block advancement, are in NEED.

HELPING persons in NEED would keep them alive and/or repair what they had lost.

SEAFING persons in NEED would improve their actions to remove themselves from being in NEED.


Implications of this will be the subject of other posts.

Author: nuet

DOB: 01/24/1935. Tucson, AZ since 1971. BS-physics RPI 1956; MS-physics UofChicago 1958; PhD-physics Yale 1965; PhD-Edu Psy Uof MInnesota 1970. Auroral Research Byrd Station, Antarctica 11/1960-02/1962. MINNEMAST curriculum development 1964-68. Woodstock. Faculty Pima Community College, Tucson 1974-1997. Trans-disciplinary scientist, philosopher, educator, futurist, activist. PC user since 1982. "Wife", daughter, 2 grandsons. 3 dogs & 5 cats. Lacks mental imagery in all sensory domains. On Autism Spectrum. First 16 years: Ridgway, PA. Lived: Schenectady, NY; Chicago; Cleveland, Pomona, CA; Minneapolis, Tucson, AZ; Antarctica. Visited: Mexico, UK, Greece, Hungary, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Brazil