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Natural Born Helper

(wrote this months ago)
A series of events over the past few weeks has made it clear to me that I’m a natural born helper. I have been spending an increasing amount of time in a town with an increasing population. Cars make u turns, pedestrians stand in intersections, and life in general happens at an alarming pace. My inclination is to point out the nearest public rest room, rush over to a car accident I witnessed, ask people if I can help them find the restaurant or trail head they are looking for, etc. The politically correctness in me ingrained by society sometimes has to stop and ask when to help and when not to help.

When did offering a helping hand become offensive? When should I stay out of other people’s business and when should I get involved? Why should I have to worry about stepping on someone’s toes? Let me elaborate a little. If I offer help to someone they might be offended because I am inadvertently implying that they are not capable, smart enough, strong enough, etc. to do it themselves. Additionally in a world where there is a professional in every conceivable field, I am inadvertently implying that the trained professional is not skilled enough, quick enough, doing their job adequately enough to handle the situation on their own.

A simple real world example, I see a skier on the ground on the side of the trail. My inclination would be to ask if they are ok? Are they lost? Are they injured? Are they simply waiting for a friend? Society says it’s none of my damn business. It’s offensive for me to get involved. I am now implying that the skier is not skilled enough to stay on his/her feet, that they are too dumb to read a trail map, and ski patrol isn’t competent enough to handle an injury in a timely manner. This is not my intention at all! When did we have to start worrying about offending someone when offering a helping hand. Why is it shameful or embarrassing to ask for help? Everyone could use a little help sometimes, and even if you don’t need help per se, isn’t it nice to get it once in a while if it makes life easier and makes your day run a little more smoothly?

How do you decide when to help and when not to help? When did society change so that this is even a choice? Why doesn’t everyone just help everyone all the time? Wouldn’t life be easier? I’m not expecting anything in return at the moment; I am just forever hopefully that if/when one day I really need a helping hand that there may be a kind enough stranger to offer it, even if I’m hesitant to ask.

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