would you lend a helping hand?
i finished my consultation with my psychiatrist on Wednesday, and had to rush back to work right after that. the path leading to the hospital is long, and going into it involves a long uphill slope. because i was leaving the hospital, i was going downhill in a rush, just to get to the bus stop quickly. then at the end of the slope i saw an old couple. the husband in the wheelchair, the wife pushing it. they barely got onto the slope, and it looked like she couldn’t even get started.
now if one would to take a glance and walk away, what would happen to the couple?
admittedly i deliberated if i should i help. but in the end, i halted in my tracks, and told the wife i would help to push her husband up the slope. i didn’t ask, not because i was being rude or bossy. i did not ask because they needed it. (all too often i’ve seen the elderly refuse help, only to suffer much more later on.) the wife was very petite. shorter and thinner in stature than me. she was generous with her thank yous. as i pushed her husband up the slope. i struggled. she told me about how her children abandoned them, after they helped them to get their flat. their children hasn’t seen them in a year, so she tells me! as i heaved and pushed the wheelchair up the slope, my heart ached for them. we chatted along the way up, because i was pushing the wheelchair and her husband up slowly and cautiously. by the time we reached the end of the slope, i was out of breath. i wanted go further by bringing them to the clinic, but the wife said no. they thanked me profusely, as i put my hand on the couple’s hands telling them to take good care.
i walked away and i looked back. i wished i could help them more. i was terribly out of breath, and it dawned upon me. “if even i had difficulties pushing him up the slope, and and if even i could be so breathless, what about her, the wife?” i could not fathom how it would have been if no one had stopped to help. a patient on a wheelchair going up a slope with a frail old lady pushing it can be perilous, if i dare say.
i didn’t write this to tell all of you the good that i do. i wrote this because i just wanted to say that if we were to all look around and observe a little more closely, you’d notice everyday that you’d see or meet someone who’s struggling. will you stop and stare, and walk away? or will you step forward and lend a helping hand? will you go out of your way to help a stranger, someone you don’t even know? will you put your hand on theirs to comfort them? will you lend a listening ear to a grieving soul? will you lend your shoulder for a tired one?
all too often i get told off for being ‘too helpful’. in crude terms, i am described as a nosey-parker, a busybody. words like “i wasn’t asking you!” or “i didn’t need your help!”, have been slapped right into my face with much scorn many times. but i didn’t yield. i did not stop. because the truth is, the people who need help far exceeds the number of people who reject you.
and of course, i would also like to ask. if you needed the help, would you want someone to help you, too?