I had a conversation with a lovely gentleman today who reminded me of my grandfather – and he said something that stuck with me for the rest of the day. “I believe,” he said, “that most people do want to help each other.”
And so, skeptical, cynical me (who is trying to be better about being skeptical and cynical) spent the rest of the day thinking about this concept. It’s true I’ve met my share of unhelpful people, but that’s actually not what’s been sticking with me lately. I’ve been working really hard to turn that thinking around and focus on the people who have been helpful. From the people in our world – the wonderful friends who donated to Ferris the cat’s surgery and the people who offered to sponsor the stray cats who (continually) wander into the yard – to the people who help others more broadly, like the staff and volunteers at the Women’s Center of Southeastern CT, the Red Cross rescuers, animal shelter workers – once you really start to think about it, this guy may be on to something.
Like the really good friend who gives up his Saturday to put a fence up for the dogs, or when my boss picks me up a coffee to brighten a crazy day. Or the friend who will drive two hours to do electrical work, or the random neighbor who comes to plow the driveway during the (many) blizzards.
So yes, I think my new friend is right – most people really do want to help. And it makes you want to help them right back.
Has someone helped you out recently?