Help Me Help You

Let me tell you a story that has been bothering me for the past few hours now. The event took place in the entrance way to an underground train station. I was walking my dog when I noticed a lady ascending on an escalator. She was already at the end of the moving stairway when she noticed something on the floor. It was an identity card of some sort. The woman checked it out and flight down the stairs to get it back to its rightful owner. I ran towards the entrance to see if she actually succeeded on this abrupt quest. I wondered how can someone concern themselves with that kind of inconvenience? Did she feel happy about it? Is a simple “thank you” discards the effort she just made?

Then something happened, concerning me, after.

I rode a bus home. Someone on the bus doesn’t speak the language here in Italy. She only speaks English and no one seems to understand her quite well. A lady asked me if I know how to speak this foreign dialect and I couldn’t say no. I went to ask what does the lady want and told me one word: “ITC”. I thought I know where she wanted to go. Every English speaking foreigners I have encountered went there riding the exact bus number. I told the driver where she wanted to go.

On the way, we stopped at the University, which was not what I intended to tell him. The location was still on the other stop. So I kindly asked the driver to go further. The woman went out but she doubted it was the place. Maybe because it was already dark that she didn’t recognize it. She went back and asked the driver to locate “ITC” for her on the city map. I doubted for a second because I know nothing further than that point. I only live on the next stop. We looked for it and the driver told the lady that what I was talking about was the so-called ITC itself. She went off, told her gratitude and crossed the bridge above the road.

Lady, please, help me help you. I did offer quite some effort just to be useful. That time, I didn’t want to be involved but that’s what helping means, right? They do take your time but the results are satisfying.

I’ve learned that helping someone won’t hurt. It could cut off your time for yourself but at least somebody got what they needed. And a friendly reminder: “Do not expect something in return.” Because everyone is not the same. I do want to remove my “always expecting at least a simple gratitude from someone”, though. Any suggestion about that?

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3 thoughts on “Help Me Help You

  1. Well, I have been doing that since I remember it.
    I learned many things from people who never expected anything in return and I intent to keep doing the same things cuz’ I believe most things I have learned for free, should be paid back somehow.. and this would be how I could thank them..

    beside that, the joy in helping others would alone be suffice…

    1. I’ve realized that, too. Helping others do have a gift of joy. We just need to learn how to be generous of what we give and accept what we receive.

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