Helpfulness…the quality of giving or being ready to give help
“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.” --Barack Obama
When I first hear the word “helpfulness,” I automatically think of the words: giving, hope, and empathy. All three of these words make up what helpfulness means for me. Hope and helpfulness go hand in hand. In this difficult time, it can be easy to lose hope. Whether it is the pandemic, the election, or life just getting to you, it can be easy to become defeated.
If you are anything like me, losing hope can mean losing a need to be helpful or putting other people first, above your own feelings. I don’t mean this in a way of acting selfishly in an intentional way, just in a forgetful way. As a society, we can get into our own head and get so worked up over the needs of ourselves that we forget the best way we can be true to ourselves is to be helpful to others.
Being helpful can mean many different things depending on the individual. That is one of the beauties of the English language. Living a full and rewarding life to me means giving to others, being a shoulder for someone to lean on, or showing a smile or providing a sense of relief to someone even if it is only for a small amount of time. Just listening to someone and hearing them out can be helpful to some people or going out of your way to make someone else feel a tiny bit better. There does not necessarily need to be a physical action.
This has been a very trying year so far. I think especially today, just listening and trying to understand someone else’s perspective can be helpful in a huge unexpected way.
One of the quotes on the Living52 website this week is, “Be helpful. When you see a person without a smile, give them yours.” I also want to expand on this and say, “By giving someone your smile, they could pass it onto someone else who really needs it too.”
Getting up and starting the day is a reward on its own nowadays. Helping someone else to do the same can be huge. You never know what is going on in someone’s head and doing this could be a game-changer.