On my way into work this morning, I walked past a man and a woman sleeping rough, about 20 yards from the doors to the office building I work in. They were kind of in a corner which was under cover of a building and you couldn't walk into my building without directly passing them and seeing them. There was a lovely little white doggy laying in between them and all 3 were asleep.
I went to the canteen and made 4 rounds of Jam on toast, picked up 2 bananas and 2 orange Juices which cost me about a fiver in total and went out to the guys and gave them their breakfast. The lady and the dog were still asleep, however the guy was awake now and sitting, propped up with his back against the wall. I bent down and gave him the food - he thanked me and kind of pointed to his half can of lager that he was already having for breakfast. I laughed with him and mentioned I'm sure his lady friend and dog would like the food if he was sticking to a liquid breakfast.
Anyway, I walked back into the office and caught glimpse of a handful of people smiling at me and they were obviously silently telling me they thought what I had done was a nice thing.
It was nice to be smiled at, as always, but this really got me thinking about where the tipping point is that triggers an action instead of a thought. I'm assuming most people that saw me and the homeless guys, thought it was a good thing to do something for them, but no one else had actually performed the action of doing that good thing. Why not? I truly think that sometimes people just don't have the confidence, or feel empowered enough to step up and offer help. I think more often though, perhaps we all fall into the trap of thinking that 'someone else' is going to do it and this certainly isn't a mean or nasty thing in itself at all. I guess it's just the way of the world at the moment to a certain degree. What I've been learning however is that if we all relied on 'someone else', then nothing would get done! Actually, we are all, that 'someone else'.
Wouldn't it be amazing if we all just stepped up and became the helping hand without even thinking about what other people are doing. Shouldn't it be the primary reaction to help someone in need, rather to think first and then decide if we're going to help, if that makes sense.
Through personal experience, I can safely state that this is not an easy thing to do and I often fall into the trap of allowing my brain to get in the way of helping others when an opportunity arises. I am trying though 🙂
Lets summarise ;
- See someone in need
- Think about helping
- Someone else will do it
- Don't' help
- See someone in need
- HELP! 🙂
My hope is that over the Christmas period at the very least, people's lines (Including my own) between thinking about helping and actually helping are consciously brought closer to the helping end of the spectrum and that we all smile a little easier, laugh a little louder and help a little more. After all, we are all that 'someone else'.
Have a lovely weekend guys 🙂