When we feel we need to help someone, it assumes that people lack something that somehow we can provide - strength, intelligence, wisdom, experience or something else. When we help, we tend to look at ourselves as superior to the person we help.
When we truly serve, we see the other as an equal, with dignity regardless of their circumstances. When we serve, we see each other's strengths and assets, not their failings and deficits. We respect the other's circumstances and have empathy for their struggles and share their aspirations. There is nothing to fix. Sometimes, especially when people cannot communicate well, personal presence alone has a big impact.
Each of us is on a unique path. How could serving versus helping make a difference to those we serve (and transform ourselves in the process)?
I now truly understand why the phrase, "I am here from the District and I am here to help" always seems to generate a kind of nervous laughter.
Forget title, status and position. Show up. Serve. Make a difference.