Lend a Helping Hand
Can you think of anyone in your life who, at the drop of a hat, would stop what they’re doing and help you if you needed it? Thankfully, I’m able to think of a few people in my life who would do that for me.
To lend a helping hand is something we are all capable of doing, yet, sometimes…most times, we choose not to. If you’re like me, you can easily get sucked into the daily-do and helping others seems like a task for someone else–not you. Afterall, we are busy people expected to give our all and 100% can-do attitude at work, home, the gym, in friendships, in relationships, et cetera. The list goes on and on!
So, why is it that some people are more likely to jump at the opportunity to help someone than others? Don’t they have just as much to do as we do? The simple answer is, yes. The difference is these individuals make the conscious decision to step aside from their current situation and help others when the opportunity arises. No, it doesn’t always mean you have to stop what you’re doing and help your neighbor get the squirrel out of their attic for the umpteenth time. However, I do think that there are more opportunities than you think to help others without it being a complete burden on your life.
I Met a Couple
This past Monday, I was reminded of how a simple act of kindness could mean so much to someone. That someone was me in this case. I was in Phoenix, Arizona for my drill weekend with the Air Force Reserve. While I was waiting in line to get a new I.D. card, I got into conversation with a couple sitting next to me.
The man is a veteran and was sharing that he was medically discharged in the 80s. His knees no longer had cartilage in them because he had jumped out of many planes into the jungle. Back then, upon his discharge from the military, he was not made aware of the benefits he qualified for given his service and sacrifice. He only just learned about his benefits in 2010. That’s 30 years that this man lived with bone-on-bone knees with zero compensation for it. Today, this man’s service and sacrifice is rightfully thanked with a well-deserved 100% disability paycheck.
His wife was funny and kind. She and I chatted about various subjects and bantered back and forth with some others waiting in line with us. Random, but we even found out one of the gentlemen sitting near us was there to finalize paperwork to adopt a baby! Then, come to find out, he is from Overland Park, Kansas–the same as TCS! How about that? Anyway, I digress. So, it’d been about 20 minutes and it was the couples’ turn, so they got called up and we said our goodbyes.
Faith In Humanity Restored
My flight back home was leaving in a few hours. While I was looking at the names on the screen of people waiting, my name was nowhere near being called anytime soon. I had to leave. So, I left and stood outside waiting for the base taxi to come pick me up. A few minutes after waiting in the Arizona heat (106 degrees at the time), the couple came out of the building. They asked if I needed a ride somewhere. I politely declined, thanked them, and told them the base taxi was already coming to get me. They reassured me it was no problem to take me and that they’d love to help me out. Well, I had recently read an article about how fulfilling it is to help people, so with their second urge, I told them I would gladly accept their offer because it was so kind and generous. So, I took a leap of faith, hopped in their truck and they took me to the other side of base where I work.
This couple who had experienced 30 years of zero compensation for pain and suffering in the fight for our freedoms had just taken time out of their day to help me. Even when I had another plan in place, they wanted to help me and expected nothing in return. Call me crazy, but we didn’t even exchange names the entire time. They truly just offered their time and resources to a stranger for nothing in return. This simple act of kindness was more refreshing than I could put into words. It was a solid reminder that doing kind things for people costs little to nothing except a little bit of your time and can mean so much.
Oh, and I forgot to mention. This man volunteers his time to help veterans retire knowing their full benefits. Talk about a selfless servant!
My Challenge To You
Over the course of the next week, I challenge you to lend a helping hand to someone. Whether it is a large or small thing, it doesn’t matter. The next time someone seeks out your help or you see someone in need of help, help them. Just see how it feels. Likely, whatever it is that you left behind will be waiting for you when you get back.
I guarantee that once you’re done, you will feel so good about yourself and you will have made that person’s day. Heck, maybe even their week. Just look out for the opportunity because, like I mentioned earlier, I think they happen a lot more than we realize.
If you’d be willing, I would love to hear about your experience this week with helping someone. Feel free to even share of a past time where someone helped you out and you were grateful. Just share about it in the comments of this post on our LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook page.
Until next time,
Monica, Account Manager