Q: It is said that one must be upbeat to help others, in a 1906 book published by Atkinson this is called bracing.

A: Certainly, if you are not upbeat, then you cannot help someone who is downbeat.

Q: Yes, but, I have also heard that we do not have to sympathize with those who are downbeat. It is only then that we can help them.

A: If you do have the feelings of empathy, and sympathy, why would you even think of helping someone?

We cannot help someone if we are emotionally attached to the person. I am reminded of a renowned surgeon in Japan whose hands trembled while performing surgery on his grandson. He was disturbed. It never happened before when he was operating on his patients. He failed.

Not to be emotionally attached is not the same as not having empathy, or sympathy.

Atkinson suggested bracing, why? This is clearly because he was moved by the same feelings of empathy and sympathy. Otherwise, what is the point of bracing people?