A Helping Hand

Melissa - worcester, Massachusetts
Entered on June 22, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe in lending a helping hand. Whether it be the international organizational power of the United Nations or the Good Samaritan who pulls over to help with a flat tire. Helping is the human way of life. Today’s society is so individualistic, it begs us to ask ourselves, “Is this really all about me?”

It starts with a simple gesture. I can’t count how many times I have seen someone struggling with a heavy package through a door way, yet all who pass by stand and wait or slink through the door unnoticed. Holding the door is simple enough. One could argue, what’s the point, it will soon be forgotten. But I always say, it’s better to be forgotten with a good deed, than remembered as a jerk.

As a person, with sentiment, with logic, and with human needs, it only makes sense to take on a helpful attitude. I see the world as too big and too unfair for individuals to think solely as individuals and not as a part of something bigger. Our society values self-success and self-interests so much that people coming together to help one another is an accomplishment wherever it’s seen. The initiatives such as the Red Cross and the Peace Corps shouldn’t be rare and surprising, but a part of life that’s expected of people.

If you were in dire need, wouldn’t you want someone to help? Wouldn’t you appreciate the person who stopped to save your life? Does it seem fair to be selective in who one helps? Does it seem fair to wonder what you will gain from a helping situation?

The commercials that we see featuring the small children swarmed with flies is very real. Because of lack of nutrition, they’re weak and can’t even keep their eyes open. There is stretched skin over their bones with nothing in between and a round belly of worms proves their low quality of life. People shrug it off with a simple, “How can I help them, they’re on the other side of the world?” But that’s exactly the point. They’re so far from the western world, that they’re nearly forgotten. They’re out of our site; they’re out of our way. With no one to help.

Even within our own borders are children who suffer just as badly. What excuse can we make for this? What excuse can we make for a government that socially fails its citizens by pumping tax-dollars into a fruitless wars and space programs, limiting the extent of its helping power in education, welfare, and healthcare?

I think that the word help is actually taken for granted. The definition of help is to bring about an improvement in something unpleasant, unbearable, or unfortunate. No one truly dwells on what it means to help. What it means to make a difference. What it means to share ones time, no matter how pressing his matters are. No one sees how impactful helping someone could potentially be. There’s always opportunity to be helpful. There’s always opportunity to do a good deed. Human nature should be human.