Probably everybody has heard of and seen this touching picture of New York City police officer Larry DiPrimo giving a new pair of winter boots and socks to a homeless man in Times Square on November 14th, unaware his picture was being taken. Watching this November 30th segment of the Today Show about this “random act of kindness” was heart-warming, but also really annoying in one way.
I am not saying I am the best, most helpful person in the world but I do believe in karma and that what goes around, comes around. In a “starter” home neighborhood we lived in nearly 10 years ago, when it would snow I would shovel our sidewalk, then go over and shovel for the neighbors because she had bad elbows and his knees were bad. It took well over 6 times of me shoveling and people asking why before anyone actually helped me shovel for them. The question everyone kept asking? “Why are you shoveling their driveway?”
Boy, does that question make me mad. Why? Because I didn’t know I needed an excuse to be neighborly and lend a hand.
Our present neighbor’s wife passed away this year and I started going over to help take care of his pups and horses and yes, clean the house because he is very busy trying to keep his small business afloat. And I’ve been bringing over dinner once or twice a week because he can use the help. Guess what? There was that question again from around the neighborhood: “Why do you go over and do all that?” My answer is “Why not? Why don’t you?”
Why do people ask that? Why is it so rare that people find ways to help their fellow man and don’t expect anything in return? I wish more people did it as a regular habit. Do you know what a great community we would all have if we were more eager to help in the neighborhood? I LOVE seeing the smile on someone’s face because you just show up and do, not because they asked but because you wanted to…well, to make a difference…to them. And in the long run, I think I get the most out of it…from helping. It makes my heart feel warm, it makes me smile, it makes me a better person. Someone I want to be, someone I want my kids to be.
So, I think everyone should pay it forward and plllllease don’t ask “Why?” …but maybe “Can I help too?”