Let People Help You

I stand amazed at the number of good people who are coming out of the proverbial woodwork to help me. Really amazed. I don’t deserve people being this nice to me. I don’t. Just the same, one of my newer colleagues picked me up and took me to staff meeting this morning. Another offered me a ride home from yoga for tomorrow. My newest colleague carried my portable CCTV to the car for me at the end of the meeting. Good grief. I am surrounded by beautiful, helpful, people!

I assume it is not because I am pitiful. I’m out there plugging away and doing a good day’s work. My clothes match (usually). I am not running into walls (much).

There is a difference between pity and sympathy by the way. Perhaps it is not in the dictionary this way, but I think of pity as having a sense of hopelessness. You pity someone if you see no hope. Sympathy is a feeling with. ‘Sym’ is united or together. ‘Pathos’ relates to emotion. (Did I mention I love language?) Sympathy has more of a “I hear you, sister” quality.

People often confuse the two. They grumble and grouse about not needing pity and reject sympathy. Not a plan.

I like to think the reason I do get help is because I am still trying to stay in the proverbial game. The Bible did not say God helps those who help themselves; Benjamin Franklin did. However, there is precedence for the saying in the Quran.

I quote the Bible badly. I know nothing about the Quran. I suspect I might quote it even worse. However, MuslimInc.com tells us not only is it necessary in Islam to help a deserving person but it is also necessary to do as much as possible by one’s own effort. Then Allah will help. Allah helps those who help themselves.

I think that means we are supposed to keep pitching. What do you think? Not saying there is divine intervention here, but when I am trying my best but still in need, someone usually comes through for me.

I said this before but I will repeat myself: I do not believe my community is exceptional. I really don’t. There are millions of communities out there that would be helpful if given the chance. According to The Social Mind 80% of their respondents participate in online social networks to help others. These people live somewhere. It is not in cyberspace! Some of them are probably in your town.

In 2012 National Public Radio did a piece on the good in America. They called what they found Participation Nation and they found lots of good stretching from sea to shining sea.

People like to do good work. It gets them into Heaven by doing mitzvahs. It also makes them feel better on a physiological level in the here and now. Letting people help you is a win-win situation.

So, get out there! Let people help you! It is not pity. It is help.

Next: coming soon!

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