Help Wanted

When was the last time someone did something inexplicably beautiful for you?

It really amazes me that civility is lost on most of the human population. My mother not only taught me manners but how to be a good person, like standing when someone enters the room, shaking hands, saying “how are you?” and holding doors open. I don’t even think about it anymore, these niceties are just engrained in my mind.

This week I parked in the disability spot because I was not feeling well and I had to carry multiple bags into work. I placed them on the ground one at a time and watched in horror as one toppled over, spilling the contents all over the ground. I struggled to bend down and return the items to their proper place and realized there were quite a few people around. No one offered to help me.

This wasn’t surprising but astounded me nonetheless. If I saw someone drop something I would rush over to help (no matter who they were).

I got myself together and made my way to the front door. A mother and her child walked through while I waited patiently (four very full bags on my shoulders). Neither person held the door. I didn’t need them to hold the door for me, just pass it on so I didn’t have to struggle to grab it before the door slammed shut.

I was dumbfounded… this was the state of humanity right now.

But wait, can I tell you a really amazing story? When it happened I was totally floored.

A couple of weekends ago I had to buy cat litter. I was feeling particularly stiff that day so I used my handicap placard to make the walk a little less tedious. I struggled to put the litter in the trunk and as I turned to return the cart a man (couldn’t be more than 10 years older than me) rushed up and said “Let me take care of that for you”. He smiled with genuine kindness and not a lick of judgment in his expression. I almost couldn’t speak I was so stunned. “Thank you, I really appreciate your help.” As I was getting into my car I re-thanked him and he replied with “I hope you have a great day!”

Wait, what?? This rarely happens. I am 28 years old but I look like I’m still in university. No one questions my disability placard but no one helps either.

I wanted to hug this man or buy him a cup of coffee. It wasn’t just that he offered to help, he just did it. He took the cart from me before I knew what was going on.

Only my closest friends do this because they know I won’t ask for help. Who was this rare specimen of a human? Did he wonder if I was injured or maybe chronic illness affects him in some way? Does it matter?

The fact that he was so genuinely kind restored my faith in humanity, at least for a little while.

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