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Politely Offering Assistance

By
Trent Armstrong,

Another example--I remember coming out of a subway tunnel in New York City in search of Ground Zero a few years ago. My wife and I were trying to mentally prepare ourselves for the experience of seeing the site and just couldn't figure out which street would get us to our destination. A local gentleman noticed our confusion and quickly offered directions. What could have been pretty stressful turned into a great story of the kindness of New Yorkers. Someone being available and aware made our trip even more memorable.

Being Part of the "Pride"

It can be a different story in an office environment. Many people in that setting are focused on out-performing each other. Wouldn't it be a nice change of pace to be aware of current projects just in case a little free time comes your way? Your co-worker might benefit from your help and might even return the favor some time.

This concept can be transferred to school as well. Offering a pencil to someone or sticking up for a classmate who is being bullied is just the right thing to do. I do not condone offering covert assistance on tests. That's anti-manners. But helping with a project or running lines with your actor friend is a great way to lend a hand. I also understand there are many of you listening to this podcast who are already doing these things. You are to be commended. See this as encouragement to keep it up.

If someone drops something, offer to pick it up. If someone spills something, offer your napkin or offer to go get something absorbent. If a person is short a few coins on a purchase, offer to pitch in. Again, the favor might come back to you or someone will notice your thoughtfulness, and it will alter the way they think about the world.

Having a "Yes" Face

Once a man came upon a washed out bridge. He noticed a group on horseback struggling to cross the river. When all but one rider had made it to the other side, he asked the last man for a lift across. Finally on the other side the traveler was shocked to find that he had been helped by US President Thomas Jefferson.

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