Give & Take: Help

"Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping."  Fred Roger.

Even in today's crazy world (and you know I want to use stronger language than that), there are people who are ready to step in and help.  And no matter how perfect the world might seem (does it ever seem that way?) we ALL need help at some point in our lives.  We all need to ASK for help.  


I put that in bold because it's important to remember, especially for those who we might consider "helpers."  So let me say it again:  IT IS OK TO ASK FOR HELP!

I know it can be hard.  I know it can be "embarrassing."  But the embarrassment, as horrifying as it may seem at the moment, WILL pass.  And the consequences of NOT asking for help can be dire.  (Just ask my son who has already screwed up in two classes because he was too embarrassed to ask for help.  And we're not talking major help; we're talking in I didn't understand that can you help me and explain further?)EVERYONE at some time needs help.  

I am part of a group of people who help prepare meals once a month for those in need.  It's not a lot of meals and it's only once a month.  I can't help every month, but I DO help when I can.  This past weekend was the weekend that meal preparation and delivery was scheduled and I was more than happy to go in and help the woman who runs the program, who I have come to know and love.  I was not the only one.  She has set up a wonderful network of helpers so that in any given month she has enough hands on deck to get the job done.

As I was getting ready on Saturday and urgent group text came to me; our leader was in the hospital.  The woman in charge of helping, needed help.  A group of us got together that morning and we got the job done.  Did it take more time of my day than I had expected?  Yes.  But this woman who has helped so many needed help.  We were there for her and I think of her as stronger and wise because she had the presence of mind to ask for help (or to be completely honest to have her family ask us to help). 

We all need help.  When we ask for help we can come out stronger than we were going in.  Do not be afraid, embarrassed or ashamed to ask for help.  Needing help is part of being human; giving help is part of humanity.

Of course sometimes a person is not able to ask for help.  As human beings, we need to be on the look out and be aware.  

Recently my amazing cousin on the other side of the globe posted about an experience she had. (The following is quoted directly from her social media post.)  

"Saw a bundle of clothes on the sidewalk and noticed as I rode past it that it had a sad little snotty face hidden in it. Turned around and parked the scooter to check it out. It was a poor lost little 12yo autistic boy who got on the wrong school bus and then got off at the wrong stop.
I waited with this boy for 2hrs so police could arrange his transport home. We chatted about school and movies and watched some YouTube to pass the time. He thought he was never going to see his family again and had resigned himself to sleeping on the sidewalk."

He’d been crying into his schoolbag, crumpled on the sidewalk while people just walked past him on their way home from their office jobs. No one stopped to ask if he was ok. FOR THREE HOURS.
The police told me that’s what they’ve come to expect of the general public.

We are all people.
Please. Think.
Stop and help. Or at least stop and ask.
We’ve all got places to be. But if we lose our humanity getting there, why go at all?

I don't believe we've lost our humanity.  I KNOW there are  more helpers out there than my cousin.  I'd even bet that there were people who passed by who WOULD have helped if they had paid a little bit more attention to what was going on around them.  I KNOW we all get caught up in our own worlds and our own dramas, but...
What is we all took just 5 minutes every day to check on someone?  To check in with a friend?  To ask a stranger on the street who looks lost if they needed help?  What if we just ASKED, "Do you need help?"

We can ALL be helpers.  And we WILL all need help.  Life is and always be a game of give and take.  Be sure that you do both.


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