One Human Connection

A sign at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego CA

A sign at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego CA

I saw a video this morning that really touched me, and I wanted to share it.  Since I missed posting something for Motivational Monday yesterday, you get a bonus Tuesday post.

You’re welcome.

I don’t know if this video is going to make you feel bad or good.  Pranksters in New York staged a homeless kid on the street with just a garbage bag, freezing in 5 degree weather.  He was there for 2 hours, and the first person to talk to him and then give him a jacket was another homeless man.  At the end of the video, they show this quote:

“If you wait until you can do everything for everybody, instead of something for somebody, you’ll end up not doing anything for anybody.”
-Malcolm Bane

Helping can be overwhelming; I get it.  But you can do one thing for somebody.  And maybe what you do is little.  Maybe it doesn’t seem like a big deal.  But maybe the person you helped will help someone else and so on.  Giving one freezing kid a jacket doesn’t mean you have to get all of them jackets.  It just means that you chose to help that one, in that time.

I used to give to the Salvation Army bell ringers at Christmas.  When I was a teenager, I ended up spending a lot of money, putting dollar bills in all the buckets.  At some point, I realized it was too much, and I stopped giving any money for a lot of years.  These days, I have a set amount I give, and I put it into the bucket.  Sure, I still feel a little guilty walking past and giving nothing, but I still smile and nod at the bell ringers.  They don’t need to know how much money I’ve put in the buckets in other places, and just because I’m not putting money in that bucket doesn’t mean I shouldn’t acknowledge them like a human being.

What I’m trying to say is that helping can be overwhelming.  Sometimes it seems thankless.  Sometimes it seems like one person can’t possibly make a difference.  Don’t look at the bigger picture though.  If that kid had been freezing on the street for real, he would have been grateful to the person who helped him.  One person, one human connection.  That’s all it takes.

Phoenix Zoo Photo Credit: Doree Weller

Phoenix Zoo
Photo Credit: Doree Weller

H is for Help

They always say that doctors make the worst patients, and I very much believe that.

imageAs a professional helper, I’ve noticed that it’s harder to accept help from others than it is to give it.  I spend my day problem solving for others, and I’m very good at it.  That means I should be able to solve my own problems, right?

It sounds good to say that.  I sometimes tell people that being able to accept the help of others is a strength, and I believe that.  So why is it so difficult to as for help when I’m the one who needs it?

as I’ve said many times before, I don’t pretend to have answers, just good questions.

One of the most important things I know about helping others is that I np can’t properly help others unless I’m healthy… Mentally, physically, spiritually. Many people seem to believe that “selfish” and “self-care” are synonymous… They’re not!

Selfish is acting without care or concern for how it affects others. Self-care is taking care of oneself. Self-care is important because I can’t allow others to depend on me if I’m not healthy enough to care for them. If I don’t practice self-care every day, I can become irritable, overwhelmed, physically sick, tired, forgetful, and lose empathy for others.

Practicing self-care doesn’t have to take long. I just try to make sure I eat right, sleep somewhere in the neighborhood of enough, read, write, play with my dogs, and regularly review what’s going well in my life.

And every once in awhile, I try to ask for help if I need it.