Be a helper. . .

One of Mr. Roger’s best stories was that when he was a child, his mother told him, “Always look for the helpers.” Mr. Rogers who became a helper, modeled for children and adults how they could be helpers, too.

Two months ago, my son-in-law, John,  and two grandsons, LJ and Charlie, and I had dinner together. Following grace, John said, “Alright, boys. Let’s talk about your day.” 


“Here it comes,” I thought. It was either going to be How was school today? or What’s the best thing that happened at school today? I prepared myself for two possible one-word answers: okay or nothing. 


John’s question surprised me. “Who did you help today?”


Seven-year-old Charlie said, “I helped Thea with a math problem because she just didn’t get it.”


Ten-year-old LJ piped in, “I held the door for someone leaving tae-kwan-do.”


John acknowledged the boys’ responses and praised them for their thoughtfulness. 


A few more bites in, LJ, looking down at his plate, asked, “Would it ever count if I said I helped myself?”


I couldn’t hold my tongue. “Absolutely. If you don’t help yourself when you need to, you won’t be much help to others.” Of course, the example that came to mind was, “You have to put on your oxygen mask first, so you’re able to help others get theirs on.” I didn’t add that. I thought my first statement spoke for itself. Besides, it’s unlikely that LJ, or most people, will ever be in that situation.”


We need helpers to show up for the more common occurrences in life. Like opening a door for us or helping with a math problem we just don’t get. 


As we navigate this giving season, consider extending a helping hand. Drop a coin or two into the red Salvation Army bucket, let someone with fewer items go ahead in the checkout lane, or brighten a stranger’s day with a warm smile and a sincere hello. Those generous acts of helping tell others, “I saw you needed something, and I wanted to help.”

When you sit down to dinner, ask yourself, “Who did I help today?” And, if the answer is, “Myself” that’s okay. Happy Helping. Cheers!



Popular Posts