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H is for Help

Helping others is something of a natural habit of mine. When asked I will help the elderly lady read the price tags in the supermarket. Often people ask me to get them some product placed on a high shelf that they cannot reach themselves. Sometimes I will give uncollected advice when I see someone hesitating, or when I overhear snippets of a conversation. If you look lost or are desperately staring at a map, then I will probably approach you and ask you if I can help you.

Only recently I helped my mother, supporting her on her way to the bathroom. As she did not fully took advantage of my help, I had no idea how weak she really was.

spring flowerI smile when I see someone helping a blind person avoid some very uncomfortable obstacles (they have boulders here that are spheres close to the ground…). I was so grateful when I was trying to carry my baby in her carry cot and my groceries up 5 flights of stairs and my neighbour took the initiative to carry my bags up for me. In Paris one can often see people keeping a metro door from shutting on a person, the reflex to help is very often present. And sometimes people are helping a parent by stopping a child that would have run onto a busy street.

Helping someone can be so simple. It can be holding a door for the person who is behind you. It can be giving directions if you are a local. It can be letting an elderly person sit down on public transportation. It can be telling the bus driver that there is someone trying to catch the bus. It can be letting a pregnant woman ahead of you while waiting at the supermarket till. It can be listening to someone for 10 minutes so that they can relieve their heart and continue their day with a lighter spirit.

Still, help is often absent. I stopped using my daughter’s pram as I was constantly lacking help in the metro’s stairs. I often see people almost running away when someone asks for directions, as they are scared that they will be asked for money instead, it does happen, but it is not the norm.

Not all help is free. After all an author will pay their editor to help them polish their microscope. You pay your babysitter to help you keep an eye on your kids. Being a German teacher, I end up helping quite a bit with the understanding of the German language, and of course I am paid. People propose courses that are designed to help you grow your business, help you become a better blogger etc. All sorts of paying services exist that help with something we might need or want. Help is not always free, but that’s ok. Just don’t start asking for money if someone packed with heavy bags asks you to help them make it through the door by holding it for them, ok?

Hundreds of heavy hounds are headed by heroic and handsome Hans-Hermann Henderson in heavenly Honolulu Hawaii.

During the month of April, I am participating in the A to Z Challenge, my theme is authenticity and eclecticism, which in my book go hand in hand.

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© Solveig Werner 2016. All rights reserved.