When I was a kid, I was instructed to run across a street to help an elderly women cross the street.  If I saw a neighbor hauling in groceries – told to go help them carry in their groceries.  When someone came home, I was to jump up and run out to the car to see if someone needed help bringing anything into the house.  You don’t just hold the door open for the person is directly behind you for them to follow you in, you actually hold the door and let the person behind you in first.  When you are in a grocery line, if someone only has a few items, you allow them to go in front of you.  When you are crossing the street and you see a car coming up or one waiting for you at a cross walk you pick up the pace and run/quick walk at minimum to get across the street faster so that they can continue on their way.  You drive in the slow lane and only go in to the middle or fast lane to pass others.

Does any of this ring a bell?  Last week I decided to take a week to observe, at my disappointment – people didn’t pick up the pace to cross the street, in face they didn’t even acknowledge I was a car waiting with even a glance… it was like I wasn’t even there.  When I bring home groceries, nobody runs out to help me carry anything in,  the young man at the gym didn’t even hold the first door (although my youngest did rush ahead of him and held the door for him – have to give him credit).

As adults I think many have become a bit lazy about concern for others ahead of ourselves.  I tell my children to always look for the Helpers.  There are always Helpers, but now more than ever I feel like I need to work on this with even my own children.  Being aware of our surroundings, and others in need is so important and even I have lost track of that at times.

2014 can be the year we bring more Helpers back.  Here is how you can help.

1. When you use a crosswalk and a car has stopped for you… pick up your pace & wave – they just may have somewhere important to go.

2. When you hear one of your family members come home, send your kids out or yourself to at least ask if they need any help.

3. Take an extra 20 minutes and shovel some of your neighbor’s sidewalk when you are doing yours.

4. Hold the door for another.

Seems simple right?

List some other really simple things that may make another’s life easier or show care for someone that you may not even know.  Not elaborate… SIMPLE… that any or all of us could do.

Photographer: Jeanine Thurston

Photographer: Jeanine Thurston

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