As I walked over to the gym this morning I spotted a little old lady, clearly struggling to make her way on the icy sidewalks. When I caught up with her I stopped and asked if I could help her. She instantly reached out her arm and looped it through mine, explaining that she just needed help to get over the little edge of the sidewalk that was full of ice.
She was on her way to the grocery store just a stones throw away so I kept my arm wrapped around hers and helped her walk the short distance there. She said she just needed to get out for a bit because she’d been sitting inside for days, and I was so happy to help her.
To me, doing these little things is something I consider natural and something everyone easily could – and should – do. Sadly, I too often see people blatantly avoiding helping others in need. Right before I helped this little old lady, another woman jogged right by her without so much as giving her a look. I’ve stood on the subway and seen how an elderly struggles to stand while not a single person allows them their seat (don’t worry, I’ve raised my voice and told people to get up to let the elder person sit). A friend of mine fell and broke her wrist mid day on a busy street, and people literally stepped over her instead of helping her.
I’m not only talking about old ladies. A couple of months ago I saw a 30-something, fit and healthy, man struggling with his babycarriage down the stairs to the subway. As came up beside him on the stairs I asked if I could help him, I stuck my purse under the carriage, grabbed the front end of the wagon, and helped him carry it the rest of the way down the stairs. My brother, and my sister’s boyfriend have both approached a homeless person and asked them if they’re hungry and would like something to eat, and then proceeded to go and buy them a meal.
I don’t know how people can just walk by. Maybe I’ve just got my eyes open, but I think it’s more likely that a lot of people choose to ignore, for whatever reason. There really is no excuse not to help, it takes a couple of minutes, maybe even just a few seconds, and it can make all the difference in the world to the person you help. And you know what? I can guarantee it will make you feel good too. Try it.
My friend A re-tweeted this the other day, and it pretty much sums up what I am trying to say:
“Want to feel wanted? Easy. Give more.”