One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone does not try to help their self before asking others. How can someone else be expected to help you if you do not first do that yourself? I'm all about helping those that need it when the time comes, however whenever someone does not even attempt to help him or herself first then that becomes a huge problem. As we all have learned, people tend to take advantage of us in one way or another. I am sure we all read this short story when we were younger and it follows that same principle:
"If you give a mouse a cookie, he's going to ask for a glass of milk.
When you give him the milk, he'll probably ask you for a straw.
When he's finished, he'll ask you for a napkin.
Then he'll want to look in a mirror to make sure he doesn't have a milk mustache.
When he looks in the mirror, he might notice his hair needs a trim.
So he'll probably ask for a pair of nail scissors.
When he's finished giving himself a trim, he'll want a broom to sweep it up.
He'll start sweeping.
He might get carried away and sweep every room in the house.
He may even end up washing the floors as well!
When he's done, he'll probably want to take a nap.
You'll have to fix up a little box for him with a blanket and a pillow.
He'll crawl in, make himself comfortable and fluff the pillow a few times.
He'll probably ask you to read him a story.
So you'll read to him from one of your books, and he'll ask to see the pictures.
When he looks at the pictures, he'll get so excited he'll want to sign his name with a pen.
Then he'll want to hang his picture on your refrigerator.
Which means he'll need Scotch tape.
He'll hang up his drawing and stand back to look at it.
Looking at the refrigerator will remind him that he's thirsty.
So... he'll ask for a glass of milk.
And chances are if he asks you for a glass of milk, he's going to want a cookie to go with it."
If you click here you can see a more animated version of this story as told by Adult Swim.
When we were very young, there was a time when this book entertained and made us laugh; we did not think anything else of it. However, this short story offers a life-long lesson: Do not set yourself on fire to keep others warm.
Looking back on things, there have been so many times where people just wanted to take advantage of me. For instance, as I was going through high school I was fairly smart/nerdy and athletic (which is not a common mixture). If someone needed help with school work they would often come to me. I would help them and most of the time they would not even try to help themselves. I was giving them a cookie and they were just coming back for milk.
This happens to be the case at college during finals week as well. Those people that never come to the library start going and ask anyone and everyone for help. Of course, some people just need help here and there, but when you wait the entire semester to start asking for help its your own fault.
Like I said, I'm all for helping someone, but when it comes to not even helping yourself that's a problem.
To sum things up, if you give somebody an inch, they're going to take a mile; it's human nature.