HELPING – the little things

I was driving my Grandfather home from his eye appointment last week. As we were slowly making our way through downtown he gently informed me – “We usually try to stop and let people cross the street here if they are waiting.” I had just passed a woman on the side of the road. It wasn’t at an intersection, there was no crosswalk in sight, it was a somewhat busy main street…

It didn’t even cross my mind to stop for her.

Maybe I have been living in the city for too long; I’ve lost the small town courtesies that seem to be so innate to the residents there. Maybe it’s simply my brash American-ness showing; so out of place in the overly nice Canadian countryside. My insensitivity in this instance was slightly embarrassing. I generally consider myself a rather courteous and conscientious individual, but this instance of obliviousness made me think.

What are some of the small things I can do daily that will help make someones day just a little bit better?

I would really like my helpfulness to be instinctive, but quite honestly sometimes it is not. In those instances when I actually need to think about it, I usually start with the Golden Rule. I think of the little things that other people do that may help me or make me happy and then I try to do those things for other people too.

Here are few that come to mind…

While driving: slowing down to let someone cross the street, allowing someone to turn in front of me, not letting my road rage consume me…

At work: making a new pot of coffee after taking the last cup, opening the door when someone forgot their key, keeping a positive attitude…

Around the house: helping out unexpectedly and unasked i.e. washing dishes, cooking dinner, folding clothes, being gracious and grateful…

In general: holding the door for someone, saying thank you, smiling, paying compliments, offering help, accepting help…

What are the little things that you do to make others smile? Do you have to think about helping or does it just come naturally?

In helping others, we shall help ourselves, for whatever good we give out completes the circle and comes back to us. – Flora Edwards

Thanks for reading!


2 responses to “HELPING – the little things

  1. The 2 basic ones that come to mind are to always say Hello and Thank you. I was brought up that way and we’re trying to do the same with our 2 girls. Elie is only 1 and doesn’t speak yet, but we try to make a point in saying please when asking her not to spit her food or unplug a cable from the wall. Goodbye is just as important, to the extent that Galah, my eldest, likes to go around the room and give everyone a hug before we leave, even to people she had never met.
    One final comment that requires a little more attention on my part is to balance the worthiness of what I’m about to say to someone before I actually say it or decide not to for that matter. I can be very judgemental and my kids as well as my wife disserve a break once in a while. Roughly translated from the French, it’s good to twist your tongue 7 times in your mouth before you speak.
    I hear you’re paying us a visit for a little while, so see you Monday!

    • What a great phrase – it’s good to twist your tongue 7 times in your mouth before you speak… My problem is that sometimes I twist my tongue too many times and end up not saying anything at all. I fully agree that it is a good practice to think about what you are going to say and the possible repercussions that may come. Thanks for reminding me of the all important PLEASE – what a great word to make simple request just a bit more nice. It was great to see you today David – thanks for all the comments!

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