If we accept that the ends of our actions often prove unknowable, we’re also freer to be focused on the process of our work as it’s happening. We can be attentive to situations as they occur. What lies before us is it. Helping is right here. Not having to know so badly, not wandering off looking, we’re more able to be present, freer simply to be.
We needn’t be troubled or worn down, then, by paradox and ambiguity. The mystery of helping can be our ally, our teacher, an environment for wonder and discovery. If we enter into it openly, our actions fall into perspective, a larger pattern we can trust. At rest in the Witness, meanwhile, we greet the outcome of our action with equanimity.
Here is a final shift in perspective which can help release us from burnout: We do what we can.