Last week at work a thought came to mind when I was getting help completing a task that I was normally able to do by myself. Sure it didn’t hurt to have help but I thought I would be better off doing it on my own since it was a simple task. I also thought my coworker’s time would be better spent on doing something else that he had to be working on rather than taking a few extra minutes to help me with something that was not hard.
As I was being helped, I had this sense of gratefulness that he took the time to assist me with a basic task even when he could have easily let me be. It never occurred to me to be so appreciative of even the smallest acts of kindness from anyone before that moment.
Lots of times in American culture we can be so focused on doing things as individuals and not seeking or accepting help from other people when we might need it. We should not look to other people to provide everything for us or be so dependent on other people that our identity as individuals is weakened. However I think that allowing people to do acts of kindness and charity for us can be a sign of humility. Similarly, helping others can make us feel good since we have had a tangible effect on the life of another person. It can be something as simple as smiling at someone, a sincere compliment, or giving them a ride somewhere, or something like paying for a stranger’s meal or lending them a good book. I still need to get better at accepting this from people since I do not want to be a burden to others or waste their time. Still, I can’t always do everything alone and it is nice to know I have friends and family that are there for me when I need them whether I realize it or not.